News / Middle East

EU Urges Egypt Rulers to End Stand-off with Brotherhood

Cars drive between brick barricades erected along a street that leads to Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi have installed a camp and hold daily rallies at Nasr City, in Cairo, July 29, 2013.
Cars drive between brick barricades erected along a street that leads to Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi have installed a camp and hold daily rallies at Nasr City, in Cairo, July 29, 2013.
Reuters
— Europe's top diplomat pressed Egypt's rulers on Monday to step back from a growing confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, two days after 80 of his supporters were gunned down in Cairo.
 
Raising the prospect of more bloodshed, the Muslim Brotherhood said it would march again on Monday evening on Interior Ministry offices across the country.
 
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, became the first overseas envoy to visit Egypt since Saturday's carnage, the second mass killing of Morsi supporters by security forces since the army ousted him on July 3.
 
The bloodshed has raised global anxiety that the army may move to crush the Brotherhood, a movement which emerged from decades in the shadows to win power in elections after Egypt's 2011 Arab Spring uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
 
Ashton, on her second trip to Egypt since Morsi's fall, met General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of the army and the man behind the overthrow of Egypt's first freely-elected president. She also held talks with deputy interim president and prominent liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei and interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy.
 
There were no immediate details on the talks. Earlier, Ashton said she would press for a “fully inclusive transition process, taking in all political groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood”.
 
In comments carried by the MENA state news agency, ElBaradei said he had told Ashton that the new leadership was doing all in its power to “reach a peaceful way out of the current crisis, that preserves the blood of all Egyptians”.
 
Ashton was also meeting members of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood's political wing. Thousands of its supporters have camped out for a month at the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in northern Cairo, demanding Morsi's reinstatement and defying threats by the army-backed authorities to remove them.
 
“It's very simple, we are not going anywhere,” Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said before the meeting with Ashton. “We are going to increase the protest and multiply the sit-ins,” he told Reuters. “Someone has to put sense into this leadership.”
 
Ashton's leverage is limited. The United States is Egypt's chief Western backer and source of $1.3 billion in military aid, though the EU is the biggest civilian aid donor to the country, the Arab world's most populous and a strategic bridge between the Middle East and North Africa.
 
The EU has attempted to mediate in the political crisis over the past six months as Egyptians have grown increasingly suspicious of U.S. involvement.
 
Morsi has been in detention since he was ousted and the military-backed interim government has placed him under investigation on charges that include murder.
 
The handling of his case by the military suggests it believes it has the support of a big majority of Egyptians. They turned out in huge numbers to protest against the Islamist leader before the army moved against him.
 
Army chief Sisi has emerged as the public face of the new order, enjoying fawning coverage in Egyptian media and sowing doubts about the military's promise to hand over to full civilian rule with a “road map” to parliamentary elections in about six months.
 
Security forces shot dead dozens of Morsi supporters at dawn on Saturday when they marched from their vigil after a day of rival mass rallies. The Health Ministry put the death toll on Monday at 80, up from 72. The Interior Ministry said one officer had succumbed to his wounds on Monday. Nearly 300 people have died in violence since Sisi deposed Morsi.
 
Interim Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim has denied police culpability, saying his officers intervened with tear gas in clashes between the Brotherhood and angry local residents.
 
A group of Egyptian human rights groups called on Monday for his dismissal. The latest “massacre”, they said, “joins a long list of killings documented by rights groups” since Mubarak's fall.
 
Saturday's bloodshed was the worst since July 8, when security forces killed more than 50 Brotherhood supporters outside a Cairo barracks.
 
The interim cabinet has vowed to clear the Brotherhood's mosque vigil after complaints from residents about the huge encampment on their doorstep.
 
Besides Morsi, other Brotherhood leaders are also being held. In the early hours of Monday police arrested two senior members of the Islamist Wasat Party, allies of Morsi, MENA  reported. The Islamists vowed to keep marching.
 
“The danger we face because of the political situation and the coup is greater than the violence we face in marches,” said Brotherhood member Islam Tawfiq, 26.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid