World Bulletin / News Desk
Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed al-Beltagi said his group had insisted, at a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, on the reinstatement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi as a precondition for national dialogue and reconciliation.
Earlier on Wednesday, Ashton had met with former international cooperation minister Amr Darrag and former local government minister Mohamed Ali Beshr – both Muslim Brotherhood leaders – along with ex-premier Hisham Qandil.
"The meeting aimed to send three messages: to condemn the EU position, which failed to denounce the military coup; to highlight arbitrary measures (taken against MB leaders) by the coup leaders; and to reiterate our rejection of the coup and insist on the reinstatement of constitutional legitimacy," al-Beltagi said.
No statements were issued by the Brotherhood leaders who met with Ashton on Wednesday.
The military ousted Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's elected president, on July 3 following mass protests against his regime.
The army also suspended the constitution and installed the head of the constitutional court, Adly Mansour, as interim president.
Adly later issued a constitutional declaration dissolving the Islamist-dominated Shura Council, the upper house of Egypt's parliament.
Since Morsi's ouster, thousands of his supporters have taken to the streets nationwide in mass demonstrations and sit-ins to defend his legitimacy and demand his reinstatement.
Earlier Wednesday, Ashton had met with interim President Mansour, Vice-President for International Affairs Mohamed ElBaradei and Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.
The EU's top diplomat also met members of Tamarod, the movement that helped launch the protests that culminated in Morsi's overthrow.
Ashton's two-day visit to Egypt is the second such trip by a high-level western official since Morsi's removal.
US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns left Cairo early on Tuesday after concluding the first visit by a senior US official since Morsi's ouster.