Egypt political deadlock 'to end after Eid': Islamist leader

Ahram Online, Thursday 17 Oct 2013

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya leader says Muslim Brotherhood and army ready to end deadlock and begin talks after Eid Al-Adha

Gamaa Al-Islamiya leader
Abood el Zomr (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

A plan to end Egypt's political deadlock will be unveiled after Eid Al-Adha, Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Aboud El-Zomor has told US website The Daily Beast.

The hardline Islamist group is a key ally of the Muslim Brotherhood and has been taking part in protests calling for the reinstatement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. Two of the group leaders, Assem Abdel-Maged and Tarek El-Zomor (Aboud’s cousin), are wanted by police for inciting violence and are currently in hiding.

"The situation now is that no one can force their conditions. Neither the Brotherhood nor SCAF [the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces] can do this, so they are prepared for dialogue," El-Zomor told The Daily Beast.

Several mediation and reconciliation initiatives proposed by international institutions and local political figures have failed.

Since Morsi's ouster by the army on 3 July following mass protests against his rule, Egypt has been deeply polarised between supporters and opponents of the army's action.

The Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsi hails, has refused to participate in the interim authorities' transitional roadmap, which is supposed to reinstate democratic rule. The group has been organising near-daily protests calling for Morsi’s reinstatement, which have led to frequent clashes with security forces and pro-military protesters.

According to The Daily Beast, El-Zomor expressed sympathy for the army's position and refused to call the ousting of Morsi a coup. "The army did things with good intentions, they wanted to avoid any kind of division or civil war,” he said.

However, he said he opposes the security crackdown on the Brotherhood and their Islamist allies.

“Many Islamist currents feel it’s not a transition but a period for revenge,” El-Zomor said.

Hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters have been killed and thousands arrested, including most senior leader of the Brotherhood, since Morsi's removal.

The Islamic festival of Eid Al-Adha began on 15 October and lasts for four days.

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