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Egypt army chief huddles with opposition leaders

Cairo, PTI | Updated : 03 July 2013, 11:28 PM

Egypt's armed forces chief met on Wednesday with opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei and top Sunni Muslim and Coptic Christian leaders, a source close to the military said.

The discussions with General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi focused on the roadmap the military has threatened to impose at 1430 GMT today unless Morsi "meets the demands of the people," following four days of mass protests calling for his resignation.

The talks involved Sisi, former UN nuclear watchdog chief ElBaradei, Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the top Sunni Muslim authority.

Also invited were representatives of the Salafist Al-Nur Party and the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which the embattled president hails, but they declined the invitation.

Military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Aly said later that the general command of Egypt's armed forces had "held talks with religious, political, national and youth leaders" and that it would issue a statement as soon the meeting is over.

Members of the grassroots Tamarod movement, which mobilised millions of people onto the streets on Sunday to demand Morsi's resignation, were also party to the talks, according to the source who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.

The military issued its ultimatum to Morsi on Monday, giving him 48 hours to either find a solution to the crisis or face being imposed with a roadmap that it has drawn up.

First Published: Wednesday, July 03, 2013 11:28 PM
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