Fresh diplomatic push to defuse Egypt crisis

August 5, 2013 3:10 pm
An Egyptian man shouts slogans against the army in Cairo on August 4, 2013 /AFP
An Egyptian man shouts slogans against the army in Cairo on August 4, 2013 /AFP

, CAIRO August 5- Fresh international efforts were underway in Egypt on Monday to find a peaceful end to the crisis sparked by the military’s overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

EU envoy Bernardino Leon met with Prime Minister Hazem al Beblawi after US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met the number two of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, Khairat al Shater, in prison, officials said.

Both envoys have engaged in a series of meetings with Morsi loyalists and members of the army backed interim leadership including army chief Abdel Fattah al Sisi.

According to the official MENA agency, Burns and Leon were accompanied by top diplomats of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates during the visit to Shater at Cairo’s high security prison in Tora.

But Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad al Haddad said Shater refused to speak to the delegation, saying only that the Brotherhood’s position on defending Morsi’s legitimacy is “unchanged”.

The powerful Shater, one of the main financiers of the Muslim Brotherhood, is due to face trial on August 25 along with senior Brotherhood leader Rashad Bayoumi and Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie, who is currently in hiding.

The three are accused of inciting the killing of protesters during clashes outside the Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo in June.

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