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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs