VP ElBaradei: Violence must stop now in Egypt

Ahram Online , Tuesday 30 Jul 2013

In a press conference with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, VP Mohamed ElBaradei says he has had no communication with Muslim Brotherhood leaders

Ashton and Elbaradei
Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, left, meets with interim prime minister, Mohamed ElBaradei in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 29, 2013. (Photo Source : AP)

Vice President for foreign affairs Mohamed ElBaradei held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon with EU foreign policy Catherine Ashton to discuss Ashton's visit to Cairo and her talks with various political actors in Egypt.

During the televised press conference at the presidential palace, ElBaradei said "There are challenges facing us and solutions must come from Egyptian hands."

At the same time, Egypt welcomes any international effort, he added.

"The EU does not meditate but rather presenting suggestions to help us," said ElBaradei, answering a question about the role of the European Union in the current political crisis Egypt.

In reference to the fighting that has engulfed the country since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi earlier this month, ElBaradei said "Our priority now in Egypt is to stop violence." He also stressed that ending the violence will help Egypt adopt its political roadmap.

The vice president was asked if he has had any communication with Muslim Brotherhood leading members. Responding to the question, ElBaradei said "There has been no communication between me and the Muslim Brotherhood leading members at this stage."

He added that he is ready to have talks with the Muslim Brotherhood and Freedom and Justice Party.

Catherine Ashton spoke about her talks with different political groups, including her meeting with representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

"I spoke with different political forces including General [Abdel Fattah] El-Sisi, Vice President [Mohamed] ElBaradei, the foreign minister, as well as representatives from Nour Party and of the Tamarod movement," Ashton said.

Ashton met with the ousted president late last Monday by her own request in an undisclosed location where they spoke for two hours.

"My message is the same to all parties I spoke with: This great nation needs to move forward peacefully. Any violence must stop and only an inclusive process will work," she added.

Both Ashton and ElBaradei agreed that the roadmap should include all political powers and parties in Egypt.

When asked about his opinion regarding the calls by France to release Morsi and other detainees from Muslim Brotherhood, the vice president said that Mohamed Morsi currently is facing legal charges directed to him.

Last Friday, the ousted president was ordered to be detained for 15 days pending investigations for charges including espionage, collaboration with foreign parties and escaping jail.

"There should be a parallel line between a political solution and security solution, in fact the political solution should advance the security solution," said ElBaradei, answering a question about whether the security solution can solve the current crisis in Egypt.

The vice president for foreign relations also said he believes any use of force to disperse sit-ins should have a legal cover, referring to pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo's Nasr City and Giza.

"I do not accept the use of violence without a legal cover. We want the state of law and special committees to investigate the Republican Guards clashes as soon as possible," he said. 

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