World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt's Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa Eddin has accused Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood of "foot-dragging" on the issue of national reconciliation.
"The government is aware of the importance of reconciliation," Bahaa Eddin said in a statement issued late Wednesday.
"Muslim Brotherhood leaders are the ones dragging their feet on reconciliation and the restoration of stability," he added.
Egypt has been in a state of turmoil since the military establiishment deposed elected leader Mohamed Morsi four months ago following mass protests against his presidency.
Supporters of the ousted president continue to stage daily rallies to denounce what they describe as an illegitimate "military coup."
They insist that any reconciliation proposal must be based on the restoration of "constitutional legitimacy," meaning the reinstatement of the ousted president, the suspended constitution and the dissolved parliament.
On Tuesday, Bahaa Eddin said that reconciliation between Egypt's military-backed authorities and the Muslim Brotherhood was possible, albeit conditionally.
The Brotherhood, he told private satellite TV channel CBC, must accept an army-imposed political roadmap, renounce violence and respect the law.
The roadmap, unveiled by the army following Morsi's ouster, calls for the amendment of Egypt's 2012 constitution – approved last year via popular referendum – and parliamentary and presidential polls within nine months.
The Brotherhood has repeatedly rejected the roadmap, describing Morsi's ouster as an illegitimate "military coup" against an elected president.
According to Bahaa Eddin, security measures are "necessary" but should be coupled with a "political solution."
"The Brotherhood should decide whether it wants to remain in the political and social landscape or continue its social attrition, which has been ongoing since June 30," he said.
No Muslim Brotherhood officials were immediately available for comment.
The movement, however, has repeatedly accused the military-backed government of seeking to eliminate it from Egyptian political life.
In the wake of Morsi's ouster, Egyptian security forces arrested most top- and mid-ranking Brotherhood officials on charges of "inciting violence."
Bahaa Eddin had earlier proposed an initiative for national reconciliation, which would commit all parties to unconditionally renounce violence.
The initiative also called for the implementation of the army-imposed roadmap.
Sources in the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, Morsi's main support block, said Saturday that mediation with the government had been "partially suspended," blaming the government for the setback.Last Mod: 31 Ekim 2013, 12:22