Salafist party chairman reopens negotiations with Islamist groups in troubled Sinai

Ahram Online, Tuesday 13 Nov 2012

Mediation committees and engagement in political dialogue are the strategies to end attacks in Sinai by extremist groups says Salafist leader Abdel-Ghafour

Emad Abdel-Ghafour
Emad Abdel Ghaffour, head of the Islamist Salafi Nour (Light) Party (Photo: Reuters)

The Salafist Nour Party Chairman and presidential advisor Emad Abdel-Ghafour starts negotiations with Sinai-based Islamist groups under the orders of President Mohamed Morsi as part of initiatives to tackle growing violence in the Egyptian peninsula that borders Israel.

"I will work to get the different movements, ideologies and tribes in Sinai to engage in political and social discourse in an attempt to end the use of violence as a means of expression," stated Abdel-Ghafour to Al Ahram Arabic-language news site.

The Salafist leader, who claims he will know how to approach the different Islamist factions on the ground, detailed that he will be holding a series of meetings with Islamist leaders and figures in both Sinai and Cairo.

Through specially-established conflict resolution committees they expect to end the disagreements amongst the residents of Sinai, he asserted, adding that the interior ministry is also playing a role in the social dialogue.  

The Salafist Nour Party visited Sinai earlier in an attempt to "combat extremism" and end growing violence between security forces and militant groups. Those negotiations, however, seem to have failed as violence continued in Egypt's Sinai peninsula. Most recently, three police officers were killed and three injured.

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