News / Middle East

EU Diplomat Meets with Egypt's Morsi

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, April 6, 2013 file photo.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, April 6, 2013 file photo.
VOA News
The European Union's top diplomat has visited ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who has been held in an undisclosed location since the military pushed him from power nearly a month ago.

The EU says foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met with  Morsi for two hours of "in-depth discussion."  It did not say when or where the meeting took place.

Ashton is in Egypt working to mediate a resolution to the country's political crisis.

On Monday, she met separately in Cairo with Egypt's interim leaders and military chief, as well as officials from Mr. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.

She has made no public comments about her meetings.  In a statement released ahead of her trip, Ashton called for a fully inclusive transitional government that includes the Muslim Brotherhood.

Also Monday, supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi continued their protests at security administration buildings, remaining defiant in the face of the military's move to install an interim government nearly a month ago.

Egypt's army has warned Morsi's supporters to stay away from military facilities, especially military intelligence headquarters.  It says the sites are vitally important, and that anyone approaching them would be in danger.

  • Bodies of Morsi supporters killed early Saturday in clashes with security forces are seen in a makeshift morgue in Cairo, July 27, 2013, (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA).
  • A Morsi supporter kisses the body of a woman killed in early morning clashes with security forces at Rabia el-Adawiya mosque in Cairo, July 27 2013, (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA).
  • A sheikh leads mourners in prayers at a makeshift morgue at Rabia el-Adawiya mosque in Cairo, July 27, 2013, (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA).
  • A woman mourns outside the pro-Morsi encampment in Cairo, July 27, 2013, (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA).
  • A boy shows a shotgun shell after clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces in Cairo, July 27, 2013, (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA).
  • A protester vows to carry on a sit-in by Morsi supporters after deadly clashes Saturday in Cairo, July 27, 2013, (Elizabeth Arrott/VOA).

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Comment Sorting
by: Bilal from: Pakistan
August 05, 2013 5:43 AM
Strong Protest from illegally exiled Egyptian President Morsi’s supporters forces U.S to get out of the story. Going back into Pakistan’s history Gen R. Musharraf was also used to benefit U.S. Meer Jafar lobby of sold out Political Filth’s global exile is awaited the way Morsi’s supporters forced it there. May Allah protect Pakistan from any more dogmatism being planned by this devilish group.

by: rafe from: irvine
July 30, 2013 6:55 PM
the Egyptian elites and their army buddies will never agree to free and fair elections with MB. They cant win any free and fair elections so in their minds why hold them.
Egyptian ruling class refrain
We got a general
In resplendent uniform
medals galore
Dark glasses to boot
what we need free and fair elections for?

by: Adam from: DC
July 29, 2013 7:27 PM
As the Brotherhood prepares for the possibility that the sit-in will be forcibly dispersed by the police, and that the organization will be driven underground, it faces a crisis that could shape its identity for years to come. For all its stated commitment to democracy and nonviolence, the Brotherhood's only reliable partners now are other Islamist groups whose members may be more willing to use violent or radical tactics;
"These people dare to mock our religion!" shouted Safwat Hegazy, a Brotherhood leader, as he stood under the bright stage lights on Saturday night and the flag-waving crowd roared its approval. "God will punish them," he continued. A chant went up in the crowd: "The people want the trial of the serial killer!" a reference to General Sisi.
A core group of Brotherhood leaders who have not been arrested about a dozen men meet daily at the sit-in to discuss tactics, Mr. Haddad said during a late-night interview at the meeting room behind the mosque. "They go around, each one presenting his analysis of the situation; then they narrow it down to three or four options, and they vote," Mr. Haddad said. "Sometimes it's very heated, with shouting; sometimes it's easy."
The mood is "very angry," Mr. Haddad said. "The military needs to be taught a lesson. At this point it's a zero-sum game: it's either the Brotherhood or the old regime. Everyone else is too small to matter."Yet the other Islamist groups, which not long ago vied with the Brotherhood for electoral seats, are now important parts of its effort to restore Mr. Morsi to power.
Many Islamists from a variety of factions seem to believe that if the Brotherhood falls, they and the cause of political Islam here and abroad will fall with it.
"What is strange is that we followed the democratic game very well," said Yahya Abdelsamia, a middle-aged man with the bushy, unkempt beard favored by the ultraconservative Islamists known as Salafis. "We joined the elections, we did what they wanted us to. Then we're faced with military force." He added in English, with a pained smile, "Game over."A younger man named Tareq Ahmad Hussein spoke up: "Many of the youth now say, 'No more ballot boxes.' We used to believe in the caliphate. The international community said we should go with ballot boxes, so we followed that path. But then they flip the ballot boxes over on us. So forget it. If ballot boxes don't bring righteousness, we will all go back to demanding a caliphate."
A third man said the crisis had been useful in some ways. "It has been a tough test, but it has had benefits now we know who our true friends are," he said. "The liberals, the Christian leaders, they stood with the old regime. It was painful to see some fellow Muslims going against us at first, but they have now seen their mistake and returned to us...Morsi's biggest mistake was to trust the country's institutions, which were trying to undermine him," he said. The corollary is that Mr. Morsi should have been far more assertive.
That view is echoed nightly throughout the sit-in.
"You are here because of the evil that wanted to eliminate religion from our lives," a mosque speaker railed on a recent night.Some Islamists seem to welcome the idea of a bloody contest. Posters bearing the words "Martyr Project" adorn the walls around the sit-ins, hinting at the power of fallen comrades to inflame public anger and extend the protest movement.Sitting in the darkness at a street-side cafe about a block from the edge of the Nasr City sit-in, Ali Mashad, 34, a former Brotherhood member, marveled at the movement's new role as the center of an energized Islamist camp.
"This is not the Muslim Brotherhood I knew," said Mr. Mashad, who left the group soon after the 2011 revolution. "They are now speaking the language of the Salafis, because that is what is popular on the street."
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 30, 2013 8:17 AM
You painted the picture of the Muslim Brotherhood that made the revolution against it and Morsi necessary. If Egypt has to be Muslim Brotherhood and forced religious belief against the people of Egypt, then the army, the moderates and the other groups the forced it out have done excellently well. Religion is a personal relationship not mob action or extremist fascist one. If the brotherhood sees nothing but a taking away of religion from them, then it is not worthy to take up a political stand because it is too narrow minded. The world is saying to hell with the extreme islamic views you and felons like you represent. Seems your religion is anti-human and anti-freedom. You love prison instead of liberty to be yourself.

by: oldguyincolorado from: u.s.a.
July 29, 2013 5:13 PM
Interesting: the "bad guys" win an election by use of the democratic process and the "good guys" loose. Then the "bad guys", whose beliefs are opposed to democracy (per some Imams, democracy and Islam are not compatable) start to change the underlying character of the government by moving it more towards an Islamic state via "decrees" (which, by their nature, are not part of a democratic process). Then the army steps in (which, by it's nature is not democratic, but a form of dictatorship) to try and save the democratic nature of the state. The "bad guys" then complain because this effort by the army is undemocratic. Thus we have a dictatorship :(the army) contesting with the Islamic efforts (by it's nature not compatable with democracy) over democracy and a conundrum develops.

And there we stand: against the Islamists, for the army giving stability to the country and for the democratic process and "having to choose between the two" when, if we choose democracy, we must side with the Islamists.

This is what can, and apparently has happened when your enemy (the Islamists) have used our most powerful weapon against us: freedom of choice and the democratic process.

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