Egypt new leaders: No going back to the past

Egypt new leaders: No going back to the past
Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:40:42

Egypt's new leaders say there could be no going back regarding deposed former president Mohammed Morsi and there will be no compromise with his supporters.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph on Sunday, Hazem Beblawi, the country's interim prime minister, dismissed the idea that Morsi could be returned to power, telling his Muslim Brotherhood party there could be "no going back".

Thousands of Morsi supporters continued to defy the new regime with a sit-in protest at a mosque in Cairo to demand Morsi be reinstated following his overthrow in a military coup earlier this month. They ignored warnings from the interior ministry that the protest would "soon" be dispersed and said the vigil would carry on "regardless".

When asked whether the government might negotiate over Morsi's return, Beblawi said, "The declaration of the Muslim Brotherhood is far fetched. In the final analysis we have to agree that there is no going back to the past."

On Friday night and early Saturday, dozens of Morsi's supporters died when clashes erupted with security forces in the streets surrounding the Rabaa al-Adawia mosque in eastern Cairo.

Witnesses accused the army of using live rounds and snipers of "shooting to kill" the protesters. Beblawi defended the security forces, describing the clashes as an "unfortunate event". "I do not doubt what the security forces have explained – that they did not use excessive violence," Beblawi said.

Adly Mansour, Egypt's interim president, has given Beblawi the power to grant the military the right to arrest civilians. Some pro-Morsi protesters interpreted the decision as a prelude for a major attack against the protest camp.

Tens of thousands of people are camped out in the area, blocking access to several government ministries and angering some residents – and they are determined not to give up. "We will not leave this place, except in coffins," said Abdulrahman Ezz, an activist who participated in the 2011 revolution that brought about the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak.

Mohammed Badie, the supreme leader of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, yesterday launched a stinging attack on Gen Abdulfattah al-Sisi, the head of the armed forces, saying he was leading a "bloody regime" and urging his followers to stand fast. "Don't be sad and don't despair," he said in a message to followers.


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