Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy has said that parliamentary elections would be held between February and March next year, followed by presidential polls in early summer.

Fahmy, on a visit to Spain, said on Friday that the political arm of deposed President Mohamed Morsi's banned Muslim Brotherhood could take part.

The Egyptian Foreign Minister's comments provided the most specific timeline yet for the end of the interim army-backed government and a return to electoral politics in the Arab world's most populous country.

The country has seen some of the worst violence in its modern history since Morsi's removal in a July 3 military coup.

Fahmy told Reuters news agency in an interview that the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, "is still legal in Egypt" and free to participate in the parliamentary elections.

The Brotherhood failed in an attempt on Wednesday to overturn a court ruling banning it, while Morsi himself is on trial with leading members of the Brotherhood on charges of inciting violence.

Speaking during a visit to Spain, Fahmy said the presidential elections would be announced "by the end of next spring" and that the elections would be held "a maximum of two months after the announcement".

"So you're looking at elections in the summer for president, that's the last step," he said.

The elections will come after a referendum on a new constitution, which Fahmy said would be held in December. A 50-member committee is working on amending a constitution that was drafted under Morsi.

Since July, the army-backed government has carried out a security crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood as well as members of the Anti-coup Alliance. Its leaders are behind bars along with more than 2,000 members and supporters. Hundreds of others have also been killed since the army takeover.

Source: Reuters