Egypt Presidency Denies Negotiations With ‘Violent’ Groups

Egypt’s presidency denied on Tuesday media reports suggesting that the government has made contact with opposing “factions” in order to pull Egypt out of its current political stalemate.

According to a Tuesday statement, the presidency has not appealed to “factions that use violence to impose their will, which is in opposition of the will of the Egyptian people,” state news agency MENA reported.

The statement appears to refer to several recent media reports alleging negotiations between Egypt’s interim authorities and the Muslim Brotherhood, which refuses to acknowledge former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s popularly-backed military ouster in July.

Since July, Egypt has been deeply polarised between supporters and opponents of the army’s intervention. Several reconciliation initiatives proposed by international institutions and local political figures have failed.

Mohamed Ali Bishr, a leading member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, told Al-Jazeera on Sunday that there were no reconciliation initiatives on the table.

Bishr said the group refused a dialogue initiative suggested earlier this month by Islamist lawyer Ahmed Kamal Abul-Magd.

Abul-Magd’s initiative proposed that Islamists acknowledge the interim ‘revolutionary authority’ as a first step towards national dialogue.

The Building and Development Party – the political wing of the ultraconservative Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, and one of the parties in the pro-Morsi National Alliance to Support Legitimacy – said earlier that the group may propose an alternative initiative soon.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails, has thus far refused to participate in the interim authorities’ transitional roadmap towards renewed presidential elections. The group has organised near-daily protests calling for Morsi’s reinstatement, which have led to frequent clashes with security forces and pro-military protesters.

Source : Ahram