Egyptian regime orders move against Muslim Brotherhood protests
Interior ministry authorised to ‘confront’ threats to national security
Supporters of Egypt’s ousted president Mohammed Morsi pray outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque at Nasr City in Cairo, where supporters of his have installed a camp and hold daily rallies. Photograph: AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
Egypt’s cabinet yesterday warned that all necessary measures would be taken to end Muslim Brotherhood protests in Nasr City and Cairo against the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi.
Interim information minister Dorreya Sharaf El-Din said the interior ministry had been authorised to “confront” threats to national security.
Last week interior minister Mohamed Ibrahim revealed that the police and army would choose a suitable day for dispersing the two-month-old encampments which have disrupted traffic and normal life in both cities and prompted clashes between protesters and residents as well as security personnel.
However, any move on these sites could lead to battles in the streets of the capital and elsewhere.
Since Mr Morsi was toppled at least 200 people have been killed, most of them Brotherhood supporters.
Despite the tough line being pursued by the transitional authorities, an African Union delegation, headed by former Malian president, Alpha Oumar Konare, met Mr Morsi, becoming his second visitors since his ouster on July 3rd.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton ended his isolation on Monday during her mission to press for an end to violence in the wake of the killing of 80 mostly pro-Morsi demonstrators at the weekend.
She failed to find common ground between the two camps. They remain far apart with the Brotherhood demanding Mr Morsi’s reinstatement and the rival camp insisting that his supporters end their protests, reconcile and accept the roadmap for revising the constitution and holding parliamentary and presidential elections.
While the Egyptian authorities have balked at a request by German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle to meet Mr Morsi, US president Barack Obama has asked two leading senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who play an active role in forming foreign and security policy, to travel to Cairo next week to urge the military to conduct elections.
Mr Graham said: “The days of supporting friendly dictators or military regimes are behind us: the Arab Spring is real.”