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Ashton pressured Morsi to accept coup: Brotherhood figure

Senior Muslim Brotherhood figure Mohamed El-Beltagy says EU policy Catherine Ashton tried to persuade Morsi to accept his ouster during a Tuesday meeting

Ahram Online, Tuesday 30 Jul 2013
Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, (Photos: Reuters).

Ousted president Mohamed Morsi has declined an EU-brokered attempt to persuade him to accept his removal by the military and acknowledge Egypt’s new government, according to a senior Muslim Brotherhood figure.

The deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, Mohamed El-Beltagy, told Anadolu news agency that Morsi has rejected "pressure to accept his removal and acknowledge the coup” from European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Ashton has reportedly met Morsi – currently held incommunicado by the military –on Tuesday during a visit to Cairo. Earlier this week rights lawyers met with Rifaa El-Tahtawi, an aide of the ousted president who is detained with him, and confirmed that he has not been allowed to communicate with the outside world.

Ashton told reporters she had a "friendly discussion for two hours” with Morsi.

She also insisted that she did not come to Egypt to "tell Egyptians what to do."

Brotherhood figure Morsi was removed by army chief and Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on 3 July following mass protests demanding the elected president's resignation.

Morsi's supporters continue to hold sit-ins and protests demanding his reinstatement. The Brotherhood and allies have refused negotiations until he is returned to office.

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