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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid