Egypt FM meets senior US diplomat, EU envoy

According to the Foreign Ministry statement, Fahmi has signaled his readiness to welcome foreign delegations to hear their views on the issue.

Egypt FM meets senior US diplomat, EU envoy

World Bulletin/News Desk

Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi held a joint meeting Saturday with US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and European Union envoy Bernadino León.

"Fahmi conveyed the Egyptian government's view of internal developments and reiterated its commitment to the roadmap (imposed by the army after President Mohamed Morsi's July 3 ouster)," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry stressed that the government was committed to "working to achieve national reconciliation with the participation of all political parties without exception as long as they are peaceful, renounce violence and avoid incitement."

According to the Foreign Ministry statement, Fahmi has signaled his readiness to welcome foreign delegations to hear their views on the issue.

"The final decision is up to the Egyptian government alone to fulfill the will of the Egyptian people and achieve Egypt's supreme interest and national security and confront acts of incitement, violence and terrorism," the statement read.

The US and EU diplomats, for their part, stressed that Egypt's future must be decided by the Egyptian people without any foreign interference.

The two men said that their visits "aimed to hear the views of the government and political powers and provide any possible help to end the current state of polarization," the ministry statement added.

Burns and León were also quoted as saying that they sought "to persuade the stakeholders to halt all forms of incitement and violence to move towards national reconciliation and an inclusive political process to help the country face uphill challenges."

The two foreign diplomats declined to give statements following their talks with the Egyptian foreign minister.

Burns, who arrived in Cairo Friday for his second visit to Egypt since Morsi's ouster, is also scheduled to meet leaders of the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy (NADL) – a coalition of Islamist parties supportive of the ousted president – on Saturday.

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagi, for his part, described the scheduled meeting as part of his group's insistence on "the reinstatement of legitimacy."

Al-Beltagi voiced expectations that Burns would bring new proposals to the negotiating table.

"We are still open to dialogue as long as it is done with the aim of ending the coup and restoring democratic legitimacy," he told Anadolu Agency.

"We will not acknowledge the coup by entering into negotiations that would discuss any future scenario that would leave the coup in place," he added.

The Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies adamantly refuse to engage in any talks that do not involve Morsi's reinstatement as president.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton visited Egypt earlier this week for the second time in less than two weeks.

She met with Morsi, who has not been seen in public since the army ousted him, and sat with Muslim Brotherhood representatives, who later said she did not offer any "real solutions" to the current political deadlock.

On Friday, al-Beltagi lashed out at US Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion that the Egyptian army had intervened to "restore democracy" in the country.

"I was not the least surprised by Kerry's statement," al-Beltagi told AA. "The US administration was an essential part of the coup d'etat. They are only defending what they helped plan."

Kerry recently stated that the Egyptian military had "restored democracy" by ousting Morsi on July 3 following mass protests against him.

The top US diplomat added that the military's appointment of a civilian government following Morsi's removal was an indication that the generals were not after power.

Ever since his ouster, thousands of Morsi supporters have been staging daily demonstrations and sit-ins to defend the deposed leader's "democratic legitimacy" and demand his reinstatement.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ağustos 2013, 14:13