[QODLink]
Middle East

Egypt sides told to end 'dangerous stalemate'

US and EU warn political deadlock "holds risk of more bloodshed" as interim government says diplomacy phase has ended.

Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 10:24
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The US and the European Union have called on all sides in Egypt's political crisis to end "a dangerous stalemate" after the interim government said foreign mediation efforts had failed.

The joint statement came as the army-installed government repeated its threat to take action against supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.

On Thursday, large numbers of Morsi supporters celebrated Eid at a site which has been used regularly for protests in Nasr City.

"This protest has perservered during Ramadan ...They [protesters] are here in huge numbers now, saying to the government that Morsi is the legitimate president, and they won't leave until he is reinstanted," said Al Jazeera's Rory Challands, reporting from Nasr City.

This remains a very fragile situation, which holds not only the risk of more bloodshed and polarisation in Egypt, but also impedes the economic recovery

Joint statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton

Both sides called their supporters to rally on Thursday.

Interim President Adly Mansour, in a message on the eve of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, said Egypt was in critical circumstances. The interim government would press on with its own plan to hold new elections in nine months, he said.

"The train of the future has departed, and everyone must realise the moment and catch up with it, and whoever fails to realise this moment must take responsibility for their decision," he said.

US envoy William Burns headed home after days of trying to broker a compromise between the government and Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood. European Union envoy Bernardino Leon stayed on in the capital in the hope of reviving the effort.

But Brussels and Washington said they were very concerned that the Egyptian parties had not found a way to break what they called "a dangerous stalemate".

"This remains a very fragile situation, which holds not only the risk of more bloodshed and polarisation in Egypt, but also impedes the economic recovery, which is so essential for Egypt's successful transition," US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a joint statement.

'Preparing for bigger massacre'

The army ousted Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader, on July 3 after huge street demonstrations against his rule.

Morsi and leaders of his Muslim Brotherhood have been rounded up and detained. But thousands of their supporters have demonstrated to demand his reinstatement.

Nearly 300 people have been killed in political violence since the overthrow, including 80 Morsi supporters shot dead by security forces on July 27.

Mansour earlier on Wednesday blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the breakdown of the international mediation effort, and for any violence that might result.

Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said the government's decision to dismantle the protest camps was final and its patience had nearly expired.

Beblawi accused protesters of inciting violence, blocking roads and detaining citizens, and he warned that any further violence would be met "with utmost force and decisiveness".

People should leave the camps now, Beblawi said.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad, asked about the threat, told the Reuters news agency: "This means they are preparing for an even bigger massacre. They should be sending us positive signals, not live bullets."

590

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list