World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt's major anti-coup alliance has decried a recent visit by European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, saying the trip showed support for what it described as the "military coup".
"It is clear from Ashton's visit that the E.U. has decided to support the coup roadmap," Magdi Qorqor, spokesman of the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, told Anadolu Agency.
"She [Ashton] had come here to discuss the forthcoming presidential election," he added.
Egyptians are set to elect a new president on May 26-27 in the second phase of a transitional roadmap, which should be completed later this year with the holding of parliamentary polls.
The roadmap was imposed by the military following last summer's ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi.
Supporters of the ousted president describe his removal from power as a "military coup", while opponents term it a "military-backed revolution".
Ashton concluded a two-day visit to Egypt on Friday, during which she held talks with interim President Adly Mansour and presidential hopefuls; former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi.
Ashton, however, had not met with any representatives of the alliance, the main support bloc of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
Qorqor said that the E.U. foreign policy chief had tried during her previous visits to Egypt to pressure the alliance to engage in the transitional roadmap.
"This time, she had nothing to offer," he said.
The European Union said on Thursday that the E.U. will send a team of observers to follow up Egypt's upcoming presidential elections.
Ashton's visit to Cairo was her fourth to Egypt since Morsi's overthrow by the military last July.
During a visit last summer, Ashton had met Morsi himself at an undisclosed location, where he had been taken in the wake of his ouster.
Europe's top diplomat also met with a number of Egyptian political parties and groups – including Morsi's embattled Muslim Brotherhood – during previous visits.
He said the analysis of samples taken at the scene of the April 4 attack in Khan Sheikhun showed "there is no doubt that sarin gas was used".
The Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the meeting was cancelled after Gabriel decided to go ahead with talks with Israeli rights groups Breaking The Silence and B'Tselem.
Musallam al-Barrak was released last week after two years behind bars for ‘undermining status of emir’
Hana Mansour-Khatib's appointment is not only a precedent for Arab women but for Jewish women as well
It remains unclear who carried out strikes, which reportedly left 15 dead and local hospital in ruins
Some 25 protestors made the 225-kilometre (140-mile) walk, dubbed the "march for bread", to call for unrestricted aid deliveries to Yemen, where Iran-backed Huthi rebels have battled government forces allied with a Saudi-led Arab coalition for two years.
Israel has occupied the West Bank for 50 years and Jewish settlement building in the Palestinian territory has drawn intense international criticism.
Khan Sheikun is a reminder of why international community must deter chemical weapon use, British foreign secretary says
'US forces will continue conducting a series of sustained operations against the AQAP in Yemen' spokesman says
Nearly 5,000 Syrians have gone through a migration regulatory process in Morocco, with several hundred receiving refugee status, according to Morocco's ministry of foreign affairs.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the suspects' vehicle had been targeted and its three occupants were incinerated in the strike.
It said the decision to raise prices was within the cabinet's powers.
The visit comes after months of tension between Cairo and Riyadh
Projects will be carried out in places where terrorists had been eliminated by Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield