News / Middle East

International Mediation Efforts in Egypt Stall

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans during a protest at Rabaa Adawiya Square, where they are camping, in Nasr City, east of Cairo, Aug. 7, 2013.
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout slogans during a protest at Rabaa Adawiya Square, where they are camping, in Nasr City, east of Cairo, Aug. 7, 2013.
Edward Yeranian
Egypt's interim presidency says efforts by foreign envoys to mediate the country's political divide have failed. Most of the envoys, including U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, have left, as the interim government, meanwhile, issued another stern warning for protesters to disperse.

The official statement by Egypt's interim presidency places blame on the Muslim Brotherhood group supporting ousted President Mohamed Morsi for the failure of negotiations and for consequences of that failure.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns ended mediation efforts Wednesday after extending a weekend visit by 72 hours. Visiting U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, along with the foreign ministers of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, also left the country.

A European Union delegation said it would continue to negotiate. But an EU statement said it is very "concerned" about the reported failure of international diplomacy.

The Egyptian state news agency MENA reported that Al Azhar University, the country's top religious authority, is calling for talks on the country's political future after the four-day Eid holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

Morsi backers

Supporters of Morsi chanted slogans against the interim government at a press conference demanding his release. A Muslim Brotherhood attorney called detention of the group's leaders illegal.

He said he wants all political parties to participate in governing Egypt in the coming period. He said it is wrong to eliminate some political leaders by arresting them without charges.

Egypt's interim authorities have detained many top Muslim Brotherhood leaders, accusing them of inciting violence. Morsi, who also is being held, has been charged in the deaths of prison workers who perished during his escape from the Wadi Natroun prison in 2011.

U.S. Senator Graham urged Egyptian officials Tuesday to release Muslim Brotherhood leaders, saying it was “impossible to talk to someone who is in prison.”

Political stalemate

Amid the political stalemate, Egypt's interim Prime Minister Hazem el Beblawi warned Muslim Brotherhood supporters over state TV to leave the group's two sit-in protest camps in Cairo. He promised them safe passage out and a free ride home:

He said the patience of the government is running out, and warns protesters not to resort to violence or they will be met with the utmost force. He called on demonstrators to leave the protest camps quickly, and he promised them a free bus ride to their towns or villages.

Hafez Abou Sadeh, of the Egyptian Human Rights Council, urged authorities to slowly pressure protesters into leaving. He said international norms must be used - including dialogue - before exerting stronger pressure via blockades, and he urged the creation of safe-passages for protesters to leave a sit-in. He said he opposes bloodshed, but that force is legal if protesters resort to violence or use firearms.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mohamed Baltagi, however, insisted that his group was “capable of creating hundreds of new protest camps” if the government closed down the current sit-ins.

  • Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi take part in a demonstration in Cairo, August 9, 2013.
  • Egyptian children with portrait of Morsi run during a demonstration in support of the ousted president in Cairo, August 9, 2013.
  • Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi hold a giant poster of him on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr, Cairo, August 8, 2013.
  • Protesters say they are making these Ramadan sweets, known as 'kaka', in honor of ousted President Mohamed Morsi who they want reinstated. (Heather Murdock for VOA)
  • Salah Abdel Moneim, an anti-Morsi supporter of Egypt's army, walks in front of his shop, plastered with huge posters of Egypt's army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Cairo, August 7, 2013.
  • Salah Abdel Moneim, an anti-Morsi supporter of Egypt's army, works at his shop with a poster depicting U.S. president Barack Obama with a beard, Cairo August 7, 2013.
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi carry posters with Arabic writing which reads "Yes for legality, No for the coup" during a protest outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, Cairo, August 6, 2013.
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi chant slogans and hold posters with Arabic writing which reads "Yes for legality, No for the coup" during a protest outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, Cairo, August 6, 2013.
  • A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shows a box of baked sweets with a picture of Morsi on top of it, Cairo, August 6, 2013.
  • An Egyptian girl has a face painting with the colors of the national flag and attends a protest outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque at Nasr City in Cairo, August 6, 2013.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More