Brotherhood leader rejects gov't-proposed reconciliation talks

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s al-Baltaji said, "The reconciliation they are talking about is reconciliation with the allies of Hosni Mubarak, not with the Muslim Brotherhood."

Brotherhood leader rejects gov't-proposed reconciliation talks

A senior Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt has said his group would not participate in talks aimed at achieving national reconciliation until ousted President Mohamed Morsi returns to office.

"There are no direct contacts between us and the armed forces," Mohamed al-Baltaji told the Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

"But we have sent a clear message through mediators that there will be no reconciliation before the military coup is reversed and President Mohamed Morsi, the constitution and the Shura Council are reinstated," he said.

Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, was removed from office on July 3 by the military following mass protests against his regime.

The army suspended the constitution and installed the head of Egypt's constitutional court, Adly Mansour, as interim president.

Members of Egypt's new government took the oath of office on Tuesday before interim President Adly Mansour.

The 34-member cabinet, under Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi, is largely made up of technocrats and opponents of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

Among the new cabinet appointments are a number of members of the National Salvation Front (NSF), the main opposition bloc against Morsi.

Ahmed Meslimani, a media adviser to the interim president, had earlier said that the presidency had opened talks with all parties – including the Muslim Brotherhood – in hopes of achieving "national reconciliation".

Meslimani also said that both he and Mansour's political adviser, Mostafa Hegazi, were in contact with the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups.

The Brotherhood's al-Baltaji, however, dismissed the presidency's claims.

"Whoever speaks about the MB's acceptance [of the proposed reconciliation initiative] is a liar," he said. "We will not sit down at the table in recognition of the military coup."

He added: "The reconciliation they are talking about is reconciliation with the allies of Hosni Mubarak, not with the Muslim Brotherhood."

Mohamed Ali Beshr, a member of the MB's Guidance Office, told the Anadolu Agency on Monday that the group insisted on Morsi's reinstatement before entering into any negotiations aimed at resolving the political stalemate.

"We have reiterated our commitment to democracy, the return of President Morsi, and the reinstatement of the Shura Council and the constitution," Beshr said.

"When this happens, everything can be put on the table for discussion with all political groups," he added.

Since Morsi's ouster almost two weeks ago, thousands of the deposed president's supporters have been demonstrating and staging sit-ins nationwide to demand his return.

At least seven people were killed and scores injured late Monday in clashes between Morsi's supporters and opponents in Cairo and Giza.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Temmuz 2013, 09:16
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