No group barred from politics, says Egypt's army chief as top US diplomat set to visit the country
CAIRO / WASHINGTON - Reuters
In a speech to a hall full of military officers on July 14, the army chief who removed the President Mohame Morsi, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, justified the takeover. REUTERS photoEgypt's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on July 14 no group would be barred from participating in politics.
"Every political force without exception and without exclusion must realise that an opportunity is available for everyone in political life and no ideological movement is prevented from taking part," al-Sisi said in a speech to a hall full of military officers.
In an attempt to justify Mohamed Morsi's ouster on July 3, al-Sisi also said the deposed president had lost legitimacy because of mass demonstrations against him.
Al-Sisi said he had tried to avert the need for unilateral action by offering Morsi the option of holding a referendum on his rule, but "the response was total rejection". He insisted the political process remained open to all groups - though Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood has shunned dealings with "usurpers".
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State to visit Egypt this week
Meanwhile the U.S. State Department announced July 13 that U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will visit Egypt this week to meet members of the interim government, civil society and the business community,
"In all these meetings, he will underscore U.S. support for the Egyptian people, an end to all violence, and a transition leading to an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government," the department said in a brief statement.
The State Department, which said Burns would visit Cairo from Sunday to Tuesday, did not say whether he would meet with the Egyptian military or with Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood supporters.