Egypt's Brotherhood welcomes NSF calls for dialogue: Group spokesman

Ahram Online , Friday 1 Feb 2013

Muslim Brotherhood hails Al-Azhar initiative to end political crisis, but tells opposition National Salvation Front (NSF) to drop all 'pre-conditions' for dialogue

Ahmed Aref
Muslim Brotherhood Media Spokesperson Ahmed Aref (Photo: ikhwanonline.com)

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has welcomed opposition calls for dialogue and an end to recent political violence, but stressed that all parties must be prepared to enter talks without pre-conditions.

The statements were made by Brotherhood spokesman Ahmed Arif and published on the group's official English-language website (ikhwanweb.com) on Friday.

Arif made the comments in reference to a Thursday initiative by Egypt's Al-Azhar – later joined by the opposition National Salvation Front (NSF) – aimed at ending the country's ongoing political crisis.

Arif went on, however, to reject any NSF-imposed "preconditions" for talks.

"Dialogue will bring NSF representatives together with the president," Arif told Egyptian state news agency MENA. "But this must be done without preconditions or presumptions that had been earlier imposed by the NSF."

Arif went on to stress that any dialogue must be conducted in accordance with Egypt's constitution and law.

Responding to NSF demands that the Brotherhood legalise its status as an organisation, meanwhile, Arif confirmed that the group – which, he said, "has nothing to hide" – was taking steps toward that end.

Meanwhile, failed presidential contender and leading NSF member Hamdeen Sabbahi issued a statement on Thursday in which he said the NSF did not intend to hold talks before certain conditions were met and steps taken to end state violence against protesters.

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