Monday 20 November 2017

EU chief is allowed to meet with Morsi

Richard Spencer and Ruth Sherlock Cairo

Egypt's military has allowed the European Union foreign affairs chief to meet the country's deposed and detained former president Mohammed Morsi, but she failed to win further concessions from either side in its political impasse.

Catherine Ashton was whisked by helicopter at midnight on Monday to the secret location where Mr Morsi is being held.

She met him for two hours, confirming that he was well. But there was no sign that Egypt's interim government was likely to give in to international calls for his release.

Leaders of Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, who also met Ms Ashton, rejected suggestions that Mr Morsi might formally resign the presidency in return for his release.

Essam el-Erian, a senior member of the Brotherhood's Guidance Council, said that Ms Ashton had proposed no new initiative during her visit.

She was the first person outside his captors to be allowed to visit Mr Morsi since he was arrested on July 3.

She had made a visit a condition of her returning to Egypt, after being refused access when she held talks in Cairo two weeks ago calling for his release.

The visit was heralded as evidence that a common EU foreign policy was starting to acquire some clout. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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