World Bulletin/News Desk
The Muslim Brotherhood has lashed out at US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks that the Egyptian army had intervened to "restore democracy" in the country, vowing continued nonviolent resistance against the military coup that ousted the country's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi.
"I was not the least surprised by Kerry's statement," Mohamed al-Beltagi, a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), told the Anadolu Agency.
"The US administration was an essential part of the coup d'etat. They are only defending what they co-planned."
Kerry argued on Friday that the Egyptian military had "restored democracy" by ousting Morsi on July 3 following mass protests against him.
He added that the military's appointment of a civilian government following Morsi's removal was an indication that the generals were not after power.
The remarks came shortly before the arrival of US Undersecretary of State for Middle East Affairs William Burns, seen by observers as another attempt at mediation between Egypt's rival camps.
Al-Beltagi does expect Burns to bring new offers to the negotiation table.
"We are still open to dialogue as long as it is done with the aim of ending the coup and restoring democratic legitimacy," he stressed.
"We will not acknowledge the coup by going into negotiations that would discuss any future scenario with the coup still in place."
The Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies have repeatedly refused to engage in any negotiations that do not involve Morsi's reinstatement.
European Union policy chief Catherine Ashton had visited Egypt earlier this week, for the second time in less than two weeks.
She met with Morsi, who has not been seen in public since the army ousted him, and sat with Muslim Brotherhood representatives, who later said she did not offer any "real solutions" for the current political deadlock.
The Muslim Brotherhood vowed continued nonviolent resistance against the military coup until Morsi was restored to office.
Thousands of supporters staged mass demonstrations on Friday before converging on the two main sit-ins sites in Rabaa al-Adawiya, in eastern Cairo, and Nahda Square in Giza.
"It was only a matter of time before protests spread outside the two symbolic sit-ins," al-Beltagi asserted.
"Expanding our rallying venues is a continuation of exercising our right to nonviolent escalation."
Thousands of Morsi's supporters have been camped out in Rabaa and Nahda for nearly a month.
"They want to restrict us to Rabaa and Nahda just so they could send a false message that these are Morsi's only supporters in the country."
On Friday, hundreds of pro-Morsi protesters converged on eastern Cairo's Al-Alf Maskan Square, staging an hours-long "symbolic" sit-in to send a "message to the coup government" that Morsi supporters can start new sit-ins in case their two main sit-ins in Rabaa and in Nahda were dispersed by force.
The Muslim Brotherhood leader criticized accusations by the National Council on Women on the "deliberate" use of children as human shields in pro-Morsi rallies.
"These children were calling for the rights of their slain fathers, is it not their right to do so?" al-Beltagi asked.
During a demonstration earlier this week some children were featured holding shrouds with "future martyr" on them, following deadly clashes between Morsi's supporters and police forces which left at least 89 protesters dead.
"During the 25 January, families came with their children to participate in the [anti-Mubarak] protests and no one said anything about it," al-Beltagi recalled.
"This is part of their smear campaign to scare women and children from participating in our demonstrations so that the [interim regime] could try to discredit us."
Al-Beltagi also criticized the visit of a group of activists and NGO workers who had been to Rabaa Square on Thursday to ensure the peaceful nature of the sit-in, following circulating reports that the protesters were armed.
The delegation had cut short its visit following a verbal exchange with some Muslim Brotherhood members.
"We welcome any human rights organization that come to provide an impartial report about the sit-in but some of those who came yesterday were politicized figures and for that their presence was not welcomed by some protesters."
The FJP had since apologized for the incident and maintained that it was an individual incident.Last Mod: 03 Ağustos 2013, 09:04