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Diplomacy Around Morsi: US-UK-EU Has Not Abandoned Muslim Brotherhood

By Countercurrents.org

01 August, 2013

Diplomacy moving around Mohammad Morsi, the Egyptian president overthrown by the country's army, shows the US-UK-EU have not abandoned Muslim Brotherhood and the army is not the sole ally of the axis. Germany , Washington and the European Union have earlier urged an end to the secrecy imposed on Morsi's whereabouts, heaping pressure on the interim government to free the toppled president. The US State Department condemned the detentions of Morsi and members of the Muslim Brotherhood as "politically motivated" and urged the military to free them.

Media reports from Egypt said:

The UK has called on the Egyptian authorities to release Morsi. It also held the Egyptian security forces responsible for killing of the civilian protesters.

In a phone talks with Mohamed El Baradei, Egyptian vice president for foreign affairs, the UK foreign secretary William Hague called for “the release of all political detainees, including president Morsi, unless there are criminal charges to be made against them.”

This is the first time since his removal by the army, the UK called Morsi a president.

Hague's remarks came hours after the Egyptian cabinet extended mandate to interior ministry to confront what it called 'acts of terrorism and road-blocking.'

In a statement after his talks with El Baradei, Hague said he also emphasized that it is vital that any charges against detainees are not politically motivated.

A UK foreign Office spokesman refused to say whether his government is convinced that the charges Morsi is facing are criminal not politically motivated. 

Alistair Burt, the UK Middle East minister, visited Egypt last week and met the interim government official and Muslim Brotherhood. 

At the end of the visit he said Egypt needs a political process that includes all groups on an equal footing leading to early and fair elections which all parties are able to contest, and a swift return to civilian-led government.


Two leading US senators have been asked by US president Barack Obama to travel to Egypt to urge the country's military to hold new elections.

Republican senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, seen as leading legislative voices on US foreign policy and security matters, told reporters that they plan to travel next week to Cairo.

"The president asked Senator McCain and me to go to Egypt next week, so we're trying to find a way to get there," said Graham.

Graham said the goal of the trip is to "reinforce in a bipartisan fashion the message that we have to move to civilian control -- that the military is going to have to allow the country to have new elections and move toward an inclusive, democratic approach."

He and McCain, who was the Republican Party's presidential nominee in 2008, intend to "talk to the military and the political leaders -- hopefully including the Muslim Brotherhood -- to have a unified message that we want Egypt to be successful," said Graham.

The South Carolina lawmaker continued: "You cannot stop the progress and the march for democracy that the military has to turn over as fast as possible control to a civilian government."

Graham added: "The days of supporting friendly dictators or military regimes are behind us, the Arab Spring is real.

US defense secretary Chuck Hagel called once again on Egypt 's military to show restraint in the wake of deadly protests.

Hagel spoke to General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi by telephone after EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton paid a first-of-a-kind visit to ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

Hagel spoke to El-Sisi "to discuss the security situation in Egypt and urge restraint by Egyptian security forces in dealing with ongoing protests," Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

The two spoke about Ashton's visit and "the need for an inclusive reconciliation process," Little said.


The Egyptian presidency said it had received a request from German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle to meet detained former president Morsi, but hinted it might not have the authority to allow such visit.

In a statement on July 31, 2013 , the presidency said it had informed the German foreign minister that "the former president is under investigation and is facing numerous charges," suggesting it may not have the authority to accept Westerwelle's meeting request.

The German foreign minister is expected to visit Cairo to discuss the political situation in Egypt with interim government officials and a number of Muslim Brotherhood members.

Earlier, in mid-July, the German chancellor Angela Merkel renewed calls for the release of Morsi.

Merkel called for "an inclusive political process involving all groups of the Egyptian population." She gave her remarks in a press conference in Berlin .

In mid-July, Germany called for the release of Morsi.

"We call for an end to the restrictions on Mr Morsi's whereabouts," a foreign ministry spokesman told reporters.

The German ministry spokesman said a "trusted institution" such as the International Committee of the Red Cross should be granted access to Morsi.


EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met Morsi for two hours on July 29, 2013 at an undisclosed location.

Morsi was "well," Ashton said at a press conference in Cairo the day after the meeting.

"Mohamed Morsi is fine, I met him and we had a friendly discussion for two hours," said Ashton.

"I do not know where he is, it is an undisclosed location,” she said. "He is in good health and he sends good wishes to the outside world."

Morsi has access to TV and newspapers, she confirmed.

Ashton was not blindfolded

Catherine Ashton was not blindfolded while traveling to meet Morsi, said European officials.

EU aides told the New York Times that Ashton was transported to the meeting at night via helicopter so as to maintain secrecy around the former president's location.

A delegation of human rights activists who visited Morsi before Ashton's trip were similarly misled as to Morsi's location, circling in a helicopter for 15 minutes before landing at the undisclosed site.

According to the Egyptian military, the intense security shrouding Morsi's detention is intended for the ousted president's own safety.  There are also speculations that his location remains undisclosed in order to discourage supporters from camping-out in protest, as which occurred outside the Republican Guard headquarters in early July.

African Union

Morsi was also visited on July 30, 2013 by a delegation from the African Union Wise Men Committee delegation, led by former Malian president Alpha Omar Konare.

The AU had suspended Egypt 's membership in the group shortly after Morsi's deposition.

Both Ashton and the AU meetings aimed at reaching a resolution to the current impasse in Egypt .

Mohamed Morsi told the African Union Wise Men Committee that he was the victim of an injustice and had been wrongly ousted from power.

The AU delegation discussed the outcome of the meeting during a press conference in Cairo .

According to former president of Botswana Festus Gontebanye Mogae, the delegation told Morsi that as a leader, he must contribute to achieving peace and ending violence. 

Mogae added that the delegation pressed on Morsi to encourage his supporters to achieve peace.

The AU Wise Men Committee also met representatives from the April 6 Youth Movement and the Tamarod. "We did not come here to make judgment on matters, but to hear from all parties" said Mogae, adding that a summary of the visit will be presented to the African Union secretariat.

Alpha Oumar Konar, the former president of Mali who heads the 'Wise Men' delegation, stated that if inclusive reconciliation is not reached, Egypt may be on the path to a civil war.


Leaders of the anti-Morsi 'Rebel' (Tamarod) campaign met Catherine Ashton in Cairo and stressed they reject "deals" and a safe exit for Morsi and other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Everyone involved in bloodshed must be subject to a fair trial," Mahmoud Badr, one of the leaders of Rebel said, according to a statement on the group's official website.

"We asked her if she would personally accept an armed sit-in to be set up under her house, one that would force her to go to her home before being searched thoroughly and would turn the gardens surrounding her house to places for people to sleep, and would construct toilets in them," read the statement.

Badr said the delegation told the EU's top diplomat that the Egyptian people respect those who respect their will and "all countries must respect our will."

He also posed her a question about whether European nations would allow sit-ins by Al Qaeda in their cities, pointing out that "black flags of Al Qaeda are present at all of the pro-Morsi rallies."

The archaic black flag carrying "there is no God but Allah" in white is used by Al-Qaeda. It has appeared in numerous Islamist and Brotherhood rallies in Egypt over the past two years.






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