Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood says open to talks on crisis

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 13, 2013 8:43 AM
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood says open to talks on crisis

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Muslim Brotherhood is ready to take part in talks on Egypt's political crisis mediated by the country's leading Islamic authority, as long as they are on the right terms, its spokesman said on Tuesday.

"If they stick to the rules we're asking for, yes," Gehad El-Haddad told Reuters, saying talks must be based on the "restoration of constitutional legitimacy" but adding that Al-Azhar had yet to table any initiative to the Brotherhood.

Al-Azhar, Egypt's leading Islamic authority, said last week it would call for a meeting on the country's crisis, after international mediation failed.

Al-Azhar's proposed talks are the only publicly declared effort to end the crisis peacefully.

Haddad also said the Brotherhood would be opposed to any initiatives offered by Al-Azhar's Grand Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, because of his support for the army's overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

Haddad said there had been contacts with other Azhar officials.

(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Mike Collett-White)