News / Middle East

    Egypt's Morsi Promises Dialogue, Keeps Extra Powers

    x
    Elizabeth Arrott
    Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has called for dialogue with key figures on Saturday to end the nation's political crisis.  But Morsi's most controversial positions remain unchanged.

    President Morsi said that the open meeting is to resolve the standoff between his supporters and opponents that has led to violence in the streets of Cairo.
     
    In a televised address late Thursday, Morsi said he would hold the meeting at the presidential palace with political figures, legal experts and revolutionary youth to reach an agreement that unites everyone.  
     
    Presidential Palace, Cairo, EgyptPresidential Palace, Cairo, Egypt
    x
    Presidential Palace, Cairo, Egypt
    Presidential Palace, Cairo, Egypt
    But he did not back away from a referendum on a draft constitution, set for December 15, which, along with his assumption of extraordinary powers two weeks ago, has polarized the nation. 

    The president's Islamist supporters have fought pitched battles with liberal and secular forces, many of whom were behind last year's revolution that paved the way for Morsi to become Egypt's first democratically elected president.  Some are now calling for Morsi to resign.

    The president defended the right of freedom of expression for his opponents.  But he blamed “black money” and forces “inside and outside” the country and supporters of Egypt's former government for the violence that has claimed several lives in recent days.
     
    Morsi said a presidential convoy was attacked on Tuesday, and asked, “Is this peaceful protest?”  
     
    The worst violence occurred on Wednesday, when Morsi's Islamist supporters converged on his opponents outside the presidential palace.
     
    At the end of his speech, Morsi offered condolences to the families of the victims.
     
    Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa Director Heba Morayef says that with the constitutional declaration placing his decisions above judicial review, Morsi has made any conversation with his opponents difficult.

    • An Egyptian protester reads the newspaper as others sit next to their tents in Tahrir Square in Cairo, December 9, 2012
    • Egyptian men stand near writing on a wall in Arabic that reads down with the leader's rule, no to the Muslim Brotherhood in Tahrir Square in Cairo, December 9, 2012.
    • An Egyptian jet fighter flys over Tahrir Square as protesters gather, not pictured, in Cairo, December 9, 2012.
    • Anti-Mursi protesters walk near a military tank in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 8, 2012.
    • Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood welcome tanks arriving outside the Egyptian presidential palace in Cairo, December 6, 2012.
    • Egyptian Army soldiers install barbed wire outside the presidential palace to secure the site of overnight clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 6, 2012
    • Anti-Morsi protesters set off fireworks and shine laser pointers on a road leading to the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 6, 2012.
    • Protesters gather during clashes between supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi outside the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, December 5, 2012.
    • A wounded protester reacts during clashes between supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi outside the presidential palace in Cairo, December 5, 2012.
    • Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi carry a body of one of six victims killed during Wednesday's clashes, Al Azhar mosque, Cairo, Egypt, December 7, 2012.
    • Protesters opposing president Mohamed Morsi attend Friday prayers beneath a poster depicting protesters killed in the Egyptian revolution, Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, December 7, 2012.
    “Morsi also needs to know that he doesn't have absolute power and he can't do whatever he wants in the name of 'the revolution.'  So he can't take steps like this decree, which is a power grab flying in the face of the respect for the rule of law and then just expect everybody to to accept it.  And I think that's what needs to be the framework for any dialogue to occur," she said. 
     
    Morsi says he will give up his extra powers after the constitutional referendum is in place.  He has defended his actions as a means to advance Egypt's transition to democracy, nearly two years after the revolution. 

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Saeid from: Malaysia
    December 07, 2012 1:10 AM
    Just this remind me Iranian revoultion suddenly stolen by extremists.

    by: ali baba from: new york
    December 06, 2012 9:47 PM
    it seems that moersi is not willing to understand that Islam is not solution .the picture about his gang how they attack people is very disturbing . I can e mail it if I have your e mail .the situation is deteriorating and many tragedy in the future

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora