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Foreign diplomats meet Egypt officials to tackle crisis

US and EU envoys meet Egypt's interim president and top officials amid efforts to end ongoing political impasse

Ahram Online , Saturday 3 Aug 2013
Egypt
Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour (Photo: AP)
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International envoys met Saturday with top Egyptian officials amid attempts to broker a peaceful end to the ongoing factional deadlock  between loyalists of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and the army-backed caretaker government.

US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and EU envoy Bernadino Leon held talks with interim head of state Adly Mansour to review the current situation in Egypt, state news agency MENA reported. Shortly after, the two met with members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party.

Top US diplomats also met with Interim Vice-President Mohamed ElBaradei, who has reiterated calls for a political solution and a halt to violence, MENA added.

Allies of Morsi told foreign interlocutors Saturday they were "flexible" on accepting a political solution to Egypt's crisis, but that it must based on the constitution suspended following Morsi's ouster, Reuters said.

"I respect and hold in regard the demands of the masses that went out 30 June, but I will not build on the military coup," Tarek El-Malt, spokesman for the pro-Morsi delegation that met the envoys, told Reuters.

El-Malt added that army commander-in-chief chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi must not be part of any deal.

Tensions have been running high in Egypt amid threats by the transitional government of an imminent dispersal of two Cairo sit-ins by Morsi supporters, deepening divisions between rival factions for and against Morsi's removal.

The interior ministry reiterated calls for demonstrators to quit their protest camps, asserting this would allow Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood to return to politics.

"Your peaceful and safe exit will allow for the return of the Brotherhood to its role in the democratic political process," the ministry said.

ElBaradei is due to receive United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan as part of ongoing mediation efforts.

Foreign Minister Abdullah, during a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in London, said the international community did not want to see "anybody stopping Egypt from [going] the way it should go, and that's only going to happen by all parties being in an inclusive dialogue."

The United Arab Emirates has strongly endorsed Egypt's new army-backed regime. It has transferred $3 billion in aid to Egypt as part of promised aid packages from Gulf States worth $12 billion.

Morsi's supporters have remained defiant in the face of mounting warnings from the interim government. They called marches on Friday to military headquarters and clashed with police outside a media complex in a Cairo suburb.

Morsi has been held incommunicado at an undisclosed location since his removal from office 3 July.

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