We could join Egyptian peace talks, says Muslim Brotherhood

 

The Muslim Brotherhood has indicated for the first time that it would be willing to engage in talks to end Egypt’s ongoing political crisis – but its own stringent preconditions, clashes in central Cairo and the deepening nationwide polarisation mean a solution may be hard to come by.

The Brotherhood, which for the past six weeks has been calling for the reinstatement of the toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, said it would be ready to take part in talks sponsored by Al-Azhar, Egypt’s leading religious authority.

“If they stick to the rules we are asking for, yes,” said Gehad el-Haddad, a spokesman for the Brotherhood.

But he added that the talks must be based on the “restoration of constitutional legitimacy” – a reference to the Islamist-drafted 2012 constitution, which was suspended following last month’s popular coup but which the movement wants resurrected.

The political forces that supported the toppling of Mr Morsi remain adamant that there is no way back for either the former Egyptian leader or the 2012 constitution.

Today, there were clashes in downtown Cairo when supporters of Mr Morsi staged a march near the interior ministry. Thousands of Islamists remain camped out in two separate sit-ins in the capital.

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