Foreign envoys extend stay in Egypt to broker reconciliation

Ahram Online, Sunday 4 Aug 2013

Top US and Arab diplomats currently in Cairo extend their visit amid efforts to ease political crisis

Foreign envoys extend stay in Egypt to broker reconciliation
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, right, meets with his United Arab Emirates counterpart, Abdullah bin Zayed at the foreign ministry in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Aug.3, 2013 (Photo: AP)

United Arab Emirates' Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed, his Qatari counterpart Khalid Al-Attiyah and US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns have prolonged their stay in Cairo to attend more meetings aiming at ending the ongoing political disputes in Egypt.

The UAE and US officials is rescheduled to leave on Monday, extending their stay for one more day. The Qatari minister, who was also scheduled to leave on Sunday, has yet to set a date for his departure.

Qatar has been a strong backer of Mohamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, granting Egypt some $7 billion in aid during his year in power. Conversely, the UAE along with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have welcomed the army's ouster of Morsi.

Western and Arab states, unsettled with the violence and deepening turmoil convulsing the Arab world's most populous state, have been working to mediate between Egypt's interim administration and allies of toppled Islamist president Morsi.

Burns along with European Union envoy Bernadino León met army chief General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Sunday, an army statement said without giving further details. They had earlier sat with government officials and allies of Morsi.

US President Barack Obama has also asked two senators to travel to Egypt "soon" to hold talks with the interim government and the opposition.

In a meeting with the US and EU envoys on Saturday, a spokesman of a delegation supporting Morsi said they are open to various solutions but rejected involvement of General El-Sisi in any potential agreement.

Morsi's supporters also demanded the restoration of the 2012 constitution already suspended by El-Sisi, who led Morsi's overthrow on 3 July amid wide spread protests against his rule.

Tensions have been running high in Egypt amid government calls for Morsi supporters to end their Cairo sit-ins and return to the political process. Morsi's camp has remained defiant in the face of the government's orders and continuing threats by the interior ministry to disband.

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