— Egypt's top prosecutor has ordered the arrests of top Muslim Brotherhood leaders, even as the country's interim prime minister starts to reach out to the group to form a transitional government. Street protests appear to have dwindled dramatically in size Wednesday as most ordinary Egyptians began fasting for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Egypt's interim Prime Minister-designate Hazem el-Beblawi met with top political figures Wednesday amid hopes of putting together a new government, quickly. Islamists as well as the main National Salvation Front oppose parts of a draft plan to restore democracy, including steps to amend the constitution.
A spokesman for interim President Adly Mansour said that all parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafi Nour Party, would be offered posts in the new government.
However, a top figure in the Freedom and Justice Party, Mohamed Kamal, declared that his group would not participate in the new government.
Another prominent Muslim Brotherhood figure, Essam el Erian, says his party wants no part in the government, and demands that ousted President Mohamed Morsi be reinstated.
Newly appointed General Prosecutor Hisham Barakat, however, has issued warrants for the arrest of the Brotherhood's Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie, as well as Essam el Erian and Mohamed Baltagi. Authorities also have arrested 260 Brotherhood supporters for questioning over Monday's shootout near a Cairo military complex.
With the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, much of the crowd of Brotherhood supporters demonstrating in front of Cairo's Rouba Adawiya mosque appears to have left. Less than a thousand demonstrators remained in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
The Egyptian press reported that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged to donate a combined $8 billion in aid to help the ailing Egyptian economy get back on its feet. Riyadh will also give quantities of petroleum products to help ease a chronic fuel shortage.
Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi perform weekly Friday prayers at the Rabaa Adawiya square in Cairo where they are camping, July 12, 2013.
A supporter of Morsi is doused with water on a hot day in Cairo, July 12, 2013.
Supporters of the ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout anti-army slogans during a sit-in protest in Cairo July 11, 2013.
Morsi Supporters pray after breaking their fast during Ramadan, in Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, July 11, 2013.
An Egyptian boy stands among Morsi supporters who are offering the Tarawih prayer after the evening meal during Ramadan, in Nasr City, Cairo, July 10, 2013.
Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi during a rally in Nasr City, Cairo, July 10, 2013.
Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi protest at the Republican Guard building in Nasr City, Cairo, July 10, 2013.
A supporter of ousted President Mohamed Morsi joins in a protest at the Republican Guard building in Nasr City, Cairo, July 10, 2013.
A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi reads the Koran at the Rabaa Adawiya square, Cairo, July 9, 2013.
Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi at their camp in Rabaa Adawiy square, Cairo, July 9, 2013.
A supporter of ousted President Mohamed Morsi with a national flag gestures to army soldiers guard at the Republican Guard building in Nasr City, Cairo, July 9, 2013.
Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Morsi at Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, Cairo, July 8, 2013.
Supporters Morsi carry the body of a fellow supporter killed by violence outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo, July 8, 2013.
Morsi supporters mourn protesters who died during clashes with army soldiers in Cairo, July 8, 2013.
Wounded supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi wait for treatment at a field hospital in Cairo, July 8, 2013.