Published On: Thu, Aug 8th, 2013

Egyptian Presidency Declares Foreign Mediation a Failure

Egypt’s presidency says efforts by foreign envoys to mediate the divide between Islamists and the country’s interim government have failed.

 

The presidency said in a statement Wednesday it blames ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood for the failure, and for later events and developments that may follow.

Egyptian Presidency Declares Foreign Mediation a Failure

Photo: Amru Salahuddien/Xinhua

Diplomats from the United States, Europe and Arab nations have met with officials from both sides in the month since Egypt’s military pushed Morsi from power. The army has installed an interim government, while the Muslim Brotherhood insists the Islamist leader be reinstated.

 

The latest mediation efforts came from U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who urged Egypt’s interim leaders to free Islamist figures from prison to facilitate discussions on resolving the political crisis.

 

They met Tuesday in Cairo with Egyptian military chief and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sissi as part of a mission to help encourage Egypt to return to democratic rule.

 

Graham told reporters he believes it is “impossible” for the Egyptian government to hold a dialogue with someone “who is in jail.”

 

Egypt’s interim authorities have detained senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including former president Morsi, since ousting him from power on July 3. Authorities accuse the prominent Islamists of incitement to violence.

 

Graham said that if the detained political figures have committed crimes, the Egyptian justice system should deal with those in the future.

 

McCain said all parties in Egypt should engage in dialogue on a democratic political transition, provided they renounce violence.

 

The two senators also criticized the overthrow of Morsi as a “coup,” marking a departure from the Obama administration, which has said it views the incident as part of a process of “restoring democracy.”

 

The Egyptian military said it acted against Morsi in response to the will of millions of secular and liberal Egyptians who staged nationwide mass protests calling on the Islamist leader to quit.

 

Morsi had taken office one year earlier as Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, but critics accused him of monopolizing power in the hands of the Brotherhood and threatening their secular lifestyle.

 

The Brotherhood has been holding two large round-the-clock vigils in Cairo to demand Morsi’s reinstatement.

 

Security officials have threatened to break up the protest camps. The United States has urged Egyptians to avoid violence.

 

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