Egyptian government to say mediation failed to end crisis

The chances for a negotiated end to Egypt`s political crisis looked to have hit the rocks.

Last Updated: Aug 07, 2013, 11:18 AM IST

Cairo: The chances for a negotiated end to Egypt`s political crisis looked to have hit the rocks on Tuesday with the Army-installed government reportedly ready to declare that foreign mediation efforts had failed.

State-run Al-Ahram newspaper, citing official sources, said the government would make an announcement to that effect soon.

It would also declare that Muslim Brotherhood protests against the Army`s overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi were non-peaceful - a signal that the government intends to end them by force.

The report appeared hours after two senior US senators on a mediation mission said they considered Morsi`s removal to have been a military coup - causing an uproar in the Egyptian media and drawing a strong riposte from the acting president.

The Republican senators - Lindsey Graham and John McCain - also called on the military to release political prisoners and start a national dialogue to return Egypt to democratic rule.

State television cited acting President Adly Mansour as calling McCain`s comments "an unacceptable interference in internal policies".

Many Egyptian private TV stations` talk shows also reacted furiously. Lamis al-Hadid of CBC TV called them a "big insult to Egypt and its people".

Egypt has been in turmoil since Morsi`s overthrow on July 03, following huge demonstrations against his rule.

At least one person was killed and 35 were injured in clashes between Morsi`s supporters and opponents in the northern port city of Alexandria late on Tuesday, a security source said.

The country`s first freely-elected president, Morsi is now being detained at an undisclosed location and thousands of his supporters remain camped out at two protest sites in Cairo.

Envoys from the United States, the European Union, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have been pushing to resolve the crisis and avert further bloodshed between Morsi`s backers and the security forces.

But the al-Ahram report dashed hopes of a breakthrough, with the government casting the blame on what it called the intransigence of Morsi`s Muslim Brotherhood.

The newspaper said the interim government would announce "the failure of all US, European, Qatari and UAE delegations in convincing the Brotherhood of a peaceful solution to the current crisis".

The government had allowed the envoys to visit jailed Brotherhood leaders in order to give a peaceful solution a chance.

But it now considered Morsi`s overthrow a fait accompli and would proceed with its own "road map" for elections in nine months, al-Ahram said.

Asked to comment on the newspaper report, a senior US State Department official in Washington said, without confirming that the talks had broken down: "We are still committed to our ongoing efforts at calming tensions, preventing violence and moving toward an inclusive political process."

Reuters