World Bulletin/News Desk
Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met on Tuesday with visiting US Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain.
"The senators started their meetings with the defense minister, and the meeting is still ongoing," a diplomatic source with the US embassy told Anadolu Agency, requesting anonymity for not being authorized to talk to the media.
"They will urge the military commanders to hold urgent presidential elections and release political detainees."
The two Republican senators landed in the Egyptian capital on Monday to join talks aimed at defusing the political crisis ignited by the army's ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.
They would later meet with Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei and Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi, said the source. They are due to hold a press conference later in the day to comment on the outcome of their talks.
The source did not rule out a possible meeting between the visiting senators and senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
Morsi supporters have been staging daily mass rallies and sit-ins nationwide to demand his reinstatement.
Meanwhile, the protest movement Tamarod declined an invitation to meet with the two senators, saying it rejects American interference in Egypt's affairs.
"The group rejected McCain's invitation for a meeting," the group's founder Mahmoud Badr tweeted.
"We are fed up with the numerous foreign officials coming to Egypt and we call on the international community to give the Egyptian people space to determine their fate and options."
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Tamarod co-founder Mohamed Abdel-Aziz said they shunned American officials because the group had already made its stance clear.
"The Egyptian people are not waiting for the American position. We have already made clear our stance to the outside world more than once," he said.
The US government has enjoyed strong ties with Egypt's military for decades, and would be legally required to cut a $1.3 billion annual military aid package to Egypt if it declared the military's move a coup.
Cairo has been abuzz with diplomatic activity in recent days, with officials coming from different continents for talks aimed at resolving Egypt's political impasse.Last Mod: 06 Ağustos 2013, 16:04