Diplomats are expressing concern for the safety and future of Egypt as political factions in Egypt are being asked to work out a crisis that has led to increasing violence, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
President Mohamed Morsi visited Germany, but was forced to cut his trip short following ongoing turmoil in his country. Back home, leaders of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and their secular rivals met in an effort to stem the violence and being to take steps towards ending the political confrontation, as reported by Reuters.
The following is a closer look at developments in Egypt.
Morsi leaves Germany empty-handed
After meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Morsi was forced to head home without securing debt relief on any of its $324 million owed to Germany, an offer Germany had hinted at but later refused.
During a joint press conference, Merkel said on of the most important things for Germany was "that the different political forces can make a contribution, that human rights in Egypt are observed and that of course also religious freedom can be experienced," according to the Christian Science Monitor.
Politicians call for end to violence
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, head of the thousand-year-old al-Azhar university and mosque and seen as a neutral force in Egyptian society, chaired a meeting in which the Muslim Bortherhood members and liberal politicians like liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei signed a document renouncing violence and setting up a committee for further talks.
However, according to Reuters opposition groups did not cancel plans for new demonstrations on Friday.
U.S. Encourages Dialogue
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland addressed concerns regarding the violence during a press briefing on Wednesday, saying that ElBaradei's call for talks with the regime were a positive development. "We're looking to all sides to engage in a process of real democratic compromise," she said. "The government has a responsibility to help create that process. The opposition has a responsibility to engage in dialogue, that's what we want to see, so that the people of Egypt really see a future that is truly democratic where there is a lot of consensus about the way forward and where everybody feels like they have a voice and their rights are protected."
U.N. Concerned About Targeting of Women Protesters
On Thursday, the United Nations issued a press statement noting its concern that female protesters were increasingly becoming the subject of sexual assault, in particular in Tahrir Square. Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equity and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) Michelle Bachelet's statement noted that "as a vibrant force in civil society, women continue to press for their rights, equal participation in decision-making, and the upholding of the principles of the revolution by the highest levels of leadership in Egypt."
Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and an amateur Africanist, focusing his personal studies on human rights and political issues on the continent.
- Politics & Government
- Society & Culture
- Mohamed Morsi
- human rights in Egypt
- Muslim Brotherhood