Brotherhood rejects appeal to 'swallow reality'

Updated: 2013-08-06 07:54


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CAIRO - The Muslim Brotherhood on Monday rejected pleas from international envoys to "swallow the reality" that Mohamed Morsi will not return as Egypt's president.

Brotherhood rejects appeal to 'swallow reality'

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans as they close the roads in front of the courthouse and the Attorney General's office during a protest in downtown Cairo August 5, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

The envoys from the United States and the European Union, trying to resolve a political crisis brought on by the army's overthrow of the Islamist Morsi a month ago, visited jailed Brotherhood deputy leader Khairat El-Shater in the early hours of Monday.

But he cut the meeting short, saying they should be talking to Morsi, Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said. People briefed on the meeting described it as long, in some moments intense, but constructive and useful.

From the other side, a senior military source said the army and interim government would offer to free some jailed Muslim Brotherhood members, unfreeze its assets and give it three ministerial posts, in a move to end the crisis.

A source involved in the diplomatic initiative said the releases from prison were expected within hours.

The releases would be a confidence building measure, and the Brotherhood would be expected to make goodwill gestures to show they have good intentions.

The army spokesman, Ahmed Ali, said no deal had been reached between the Brotherhood, the military and the government to end Egypt's political crisis.      

Several thousand Islamist supporters marched through downtown Cairo calling for Morsi's reinstatement and denouncing the army general who led his overthrow.

Marchers chanted: "Morsi, Morsi" and "We are not terrorists", and waved pictures of the ousted leader.

The protest showed tensions still running dangerously high in Egypt despite the mediation effort by the United States, the European Union, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

"Things should move soon, otherwise we shall miss this opportunity. This is all still incredibly fragile." said a source involved in the diplomatic initiative.  

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