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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid