Army postpones call for 'national dialogue' meeting

Ahram Online, Wednesday 12 Dec 2012

The meeting of political forces and the president, called for by the defence minister, has been put on hold

Official spokesperson of the military, General Ahmed Mohamed Ali (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The armed forces released a statement on Wednesday saying that a planned meeting aimed at building national dialogue between political forces, which had been called for by the minister of defence, will be postponed for the time being.

The invitation was apparently aimed at resolving the current political crisis in the presence of political parties, other political forces and President Mohamed Morsi.

The reason behind the postponement of the meeting was the reluctance of many political actors to respond to the invitation, according to the statement published on the official Facebook page of the spokesperson for the armed forces.

"The minister of defence thanks all who have responded to the invitation, and wishes for the dialogue to be held later," read the statement.

According to a statement made by presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali to CBC satellite channel on Tuesday, the president has confirmed that he will be present at the meeting.

Speaking to Reuters, member of the National Salvation Front Amr Moussa stated that he has agreed to attend the meeting, along with other NSF leaders Mohamed ElBaradei and Hamdeen Sabbahi.

While several forces have questioned what they describe as the interference by the army in the political scene in Egypt, assistant to the minister of defence, General Mohamed El-Assar, asserted that there was no intention for the army to interfere in politics, and that this meeting was instead "a gathering of an Egyptian family."

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