Egypt says diplomacy has failed to resolve crisisAssociated Press . Cairo
Egypt’s presidency said Wednesday that diplomatic efforts to peacefully resolve the standoff between the country’s military-backed interim leadership and the Muslim Brotherhood have failed.
The statement from interim president Adly Mansour’s office follows a flurry of diplomatic visits over the past two weeks by envoys from the United States, the EU and Arab Gulf states to defuse the crisis between the government and supporters of ousted Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi, who was a long-time Brotherhood member.
‘These efforts did not achieve the success that was hoped for, despite full support provided by the Egyptian government,’ the presidency said. ‘The state of Egypt appreciates the efforts of friendly nations and understands the reasons why they did not achieve their desired objectives, and holds the Muslim Brotherhood full responsibility for the failure of these efforts.’
The statement did not say what the interim leadership’s next step would be, but in the past week authorities have outlined plans to break up two major sit-ins in Cairo by Morsi’s supporters. Diplomatic efforts were largely cantered on finding a compromise in order to avert the use of force against the sit-ins.
Already more than 250 people have been killed in violence since the military ousted Morsi more than a month ago, including at least 130 Brotherhood supporters in two major clashes between security forces and backers of the deposed president.
The Brotherhood has staged daily demonstrations since Morsi was deposed, demanding that he be reinstated. Egypt’s interim leadership, meanwhile, has vowed to push ahead with a transition plan that envisions fresh elections early next year.
The presidency’s statement came a day after a visit to Cairo by two U.S. Senators who urged the military-backed interim government to release Islamist figures as a gesture to Brotherhood or risk making ‘a huge mistake.’
Mansour, who was installed as Egypt’s interim president by the military after the July 3 coup, rejected the senators’ message, calling it ‘unacceptable interference in internal politics.’
Before dawn Wednesday, a security official said clashes between supporters of the country’s ousted president and residents of Egypt’s Mediterranean city of Alexandria have left one person dead and dozens wounded. Residents of the Manshiya neighbourhood were angered by marchers who were chanting against the country’s armed forces.
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