Initiative proposers set conditions for Azhar-sponsored meeting

Most of the proposed initiatives call for the reinstatement of Egypt's 2012 constitution and the holding of presidential elections within 90 days.

Initiative proposers set conditions for Azhar-sponsored meeting

World Bulletin/News Desk

Public figures invited to partake in a meeting sponsored by Al-Azhar to draft a unified initiative aimed at resolving Egypt's political crisis have set a list of conditions for attending the planned gathering, the Anadolu Agency has learned.

Al-Azhar has contacted public figures who have recently floated initiatives aimed at ending the country's political crisis in hopes of bringing them together to formulate a single, unified proposal for dialogue.

However, sources close to those invited to the meeting told the AA that they had set conditions to ensure that the initiative would result in the hoped-for breakthrough.

Among the conditions is a guarantee that the government would not forcibly disperse ongoing sit-ins by supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo and Giza.

They also asked to know in advance what parties would take part in the meeting, stressing that invitees should be of "considerable popular influence," the sources said.

The figures in question also asked that the meeting not be used for mere publicity or photo-ops, urging participants not to make media appearances until a breakthrough was reached.

What's more, they said, the meeting's success or failure should not be used as a pretext for violent escalations against pro-Morsi demonstrators.

Earlier on Monday, Mohamed Mehanna, an adviser to Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb, told the Anadolu Agency that Al-Azhar had yet to set a date for the meeting.

"There has been a positive response from various currents and figures to the invitation to sit down to produce a unified initiative," he said.

In recent weeks, several initiatives have been proposed by political parties and high-profile figures, including former Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, Islamic scholar Mohamed Selim al-Awa and the Strong Egypt Party, among others.

Most proposed initiatives call for the reinstatement of Egypt's 2012 constitution and the holding of presidential elections within 90 days.

However, the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, a coalition of largely Islamist groups and figures that support the ousted president, has rejected any dialogue initiative proposed by Al-Azhar.

The Brotherhood-led coalition said that Al-Azhar could not serve as an honest broker, citing the grand imam's support for Morsi's July 3 ouster by the military – a move the Brotherhood brands a "military coup" against the country's elected leader.

Nevertheless, Mehanna said that the world-renowned religious institution would continue its efforts to help end the crisis in spite of the Brotherhood's stated position.

Last Mod: 13 Ağustos 2013, 10:20
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