Mansour in reconciliation efforts, Brotherhood leaders seek safe exit

Dina Ezzat , Saturday 6 Jul 2013

Sources suggest that Friday's strife in Cairo may be part of efforts on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood to secure a safe exit from prosecution or persecution for its leadership

Adly mansour
Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour (Photo: AP)

Interim President Adly Mansour is holding consultations on reconciliation efforts aimed to end political polarisation in Egypt, a source who spoke recently with Mansour told Ahram Online.

“He is meeting tomorrow (Saturday) with representatives of political parties and forces with an eye on drafting a roadmap for political reconciliaition. Liberal and Islamist parties are expected to take part,” the source said.

According to the same source “an invitation has been extended“ to the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood from which President Mohamed Morsi, who was removed Wednesday in the wake of a massive nationwide demonstrations, hails.

According to political sources, Mohamed Tousson, a leading FJP figure, is expected to be present at the meeting. “He was invited and he suggested he would come but we are not sure because other FJP members were supposed to attend previous meetings and they absented themselves,” said the source close to Mansour.

Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah El-Sisi invited the FJP leadership to a meeting of all political, civil and religious forces Wednesday, ahead of the announcement of the ouster of Morsi, but they did not show up despite earlier confirmations of participation.

On 30 June, nationwide demonstrations of over 17 million people, according to Ministry of Interior assessments, demanded an end to the presidency of Mohamed Morsi — Egypt's the first democratically-elected head of state.

Demonstrators had been threatening long sit-ins to force Morsi out of power. A meeting between the military leadership and representatives of political, civil and religious bodies ended in a decision that it was over for Morsi. For his part, Morsi refused to step down or accept the military's roadmap confirming his ouster, insisting that he is the "legitimate president of Egypt" and calling on his supporters to "defend legitimacy."

On Friday, three days after Morsi was removed from power, thousands of demonstrators gathered at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Nasr City and at the Heliopolis headquarters of the Presidential Guard where it is believed Morsi is being held.

At least 30 were killed in clashes between Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators, security forces and anti-Morsi protesters nationwide on Friday. In the afternoon confrontations occurred between pro and anti-Morsi demonstrators near Tahrir Square.

“The battle is in the offing and the Muslim Brotherhood leaders are now negotiating a deal by which they would be offered a safe exit — out of Egypt with no legal persecution,” said a highly informed source.

Addressing supporters in Nasr City Friday afternoon, following his release from temporary arrest, Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie said that Brotherhood members would only leave their sit-in if Morsi is reinstated as president.

According to identical official and Muslim Brotherhood accounts, this is out of the question. “It will not happen and the Muslim Brotherhood leadership knows it, and this is why they started negotiating an exit,” said an official soruce.

According to a Muslim Brotherhood source, “We know that Morsi is not coming back and this is something that we know how and when to avenge."

The realisation by the Muslim Brotherhood leadership of the termination of their period in office came as Washington, a strong ally that tried to defend Morsi’s presidency, decided to give up on the Muslim Brotherhood when it declined to qualify the ouster of Morsi is a "coup." A statement by US Congress's Committee on the Foreign Affairs qualified Wednesday's events as “a popular impeachment,” thereby protecting US aid to Egypt against internal review.

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