EU envoy is latest diplomat to leave Egypt after negotiations declared a 'failure'

Ahram Online, Thursday 8 Aug 2013

EU's Bernardino León is the latest diplomat to leave Egypt as the presidency on Wednesday declared negotiations over the Egypt crisis a failure

A European Union envoy who attempted to mediate a deal between the interim Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood left Egypt on Thursday after the Egyptian presidency stated Wednesday that negotiations have failed, Ahram Arabic Website reported.

EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean Bernardino León arrived in Cairo a week ago in an attempt to broker a deal between supporters of the ousted Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi and the transitional government which succeeded him.

León said last Thursday in an interview with Egyptian AlHayat channel that the current situation in Egypt is ''very difficult'', but that there were ''signs of hope'' that a middle ground could be reached.

The Egyptian acting government eliminated hopes for resolving the situation by announcing on Wednesday that mediations with the Brotherhood had failed.

The presidency held the Brotherhood responsible for the failure to reach a settlement.

León is one of several diplomats to leave, after coming to Egypt's capital over the past two weeks to help end the current Egyptian crisis.

US Deputy Secretary of state William Burns left Egypt on Wednesday, hours after the talks were declared over.

Egyptian interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi reiterated Thursday that the Pro-Morsi sit-ins, held since the Morsi's ouster on 3 July in the Cairo suburb of Nasr City and Giza's Nahdet Misr Square, will no longer be tolerated.

In his speech, he asked the protesters to leave the sit-in as quickly as possible, stating that the cabinet's decision to disperse them is final.

International and domestic Egyptian figures have expressed fears that dispersing the sit-in might result in bloodshed.

Several clashes between the Egyptian security forces and Morsi loyalists in July left at least 200 dead and hundreds injured.

Tensions in Egypt have been escalating since Morsi's ouster following days of nationwide protests demanding his resignation. The Muslim Brotherhood refused to acknowledge the appointed interim president Adly Mansour and his cabinet, stating that Morsi, who has been held in an undisclosed army facility since his ouster, is the only legal president.

Offers to reach an agreement, including appointing Muslim Brotherhood figures to the interim government, have been also turned down by the Brotherhood.

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