Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya says Morsi to reject Ashton 'safe exit' offer

Ahram Online , Wednesday 31 Jul 2013

Ultra-orthodox Islamist group claims EU foreign affairs chief offered Morsi way out of prosecution in exchange for ending sit-in

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Building and Development Party media advisor Khaled El-Sherif said that deposed president Mohamed Morsi will not accept a reconciliation offer by European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, which they said included a safe exit for Morsi.

The Building and Development Party is a close ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group which propelled Morsi to the presidency in June 2012.  Morsi was removed from his post following a popularly-backed army intervention on 3 July.

Ashton visited Morsi during her Cairo visit, who is being held incommunicado at an unknown location by Egypt's military and is under investigation on charges of espionage and jail break.

El-Sherif claims that Ashton offered Morsi and the Brotherhood a way out of prosecution and a chance for detainees' release in exchange for an end to the daily sit-in and protests by Morsi supporters.

Many top Brotherhood figures and prominent allies have been arrested and charged with incitement of violence following Morsi's ouster.

Ashton said in a press conference on Tuesday that the president is well and has access to news but didn't divulge information about the talks. 

The EU's top diplomat was in Cairo to help reach a settlement between Egypt's political forces. "We were able to talk about the need to move forward," she said regarding her discussion with Morsi.

The Building and Development Party continues to throw its weight behind an initiative proposed by Islamist thinker Mohamed Selim El-Awa and Morsi-era prime minister Hicham Qandil, in which Morsi would delegate his powers to the cabinet and initiate parliamentary and presidential elections.

Brotherhood opponents have rejected any option in which Morsi continues in his post, even if in a nominal capacity.

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