MidEast

Talks Break Down as Muslim Brotherhood Refuses to Reconcile with Egyptian Government

The Egyptian government is trying to rehabilitate the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which was deposed from power in July 2013. However, these attempts so far have been met with a stubborn refusal from the Brotherhood, the Arab21 news site reported (Arabic link).

Sources in the Muslim Brotherhood said that there were several rounds of talks between the leaders of the movement and officials from the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, sometimes directly and sometimes with mediation.

The conversations focused on the regime’s desire to get the conservative Islamic movement to recognize the legitimacy of the Egyptian regime. In return, the regime promised it will integrate the Muslim Brotherhood back into political life and release arrested members, the news site reported.

The Egyptian government purposefully did not arrest the more moderate leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood last year, in order to sustain contacts with them and reach a political solution to the crisis. Those leaders include Muhammad Ali Bashr, Amr Daraj, and Yasser Ali, the last of whom was the spokesperson of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

However, when the Egyptian government realized that the Muslim Brotherhood was refusing to budge from their position and was not willing to compromise, the regime began to impose sanctions on the more moderate leaders to push for a conciliation. The regime also arrested two of the three.

But during the past few months, the regime released some of the moderate leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, including Yasser Ali and former MP Ali Fath Al-Bab. According to Arab21, the government is hoping that some of those released will help to achieve the reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Indeed, since his release, Yasser Ali has played a pivotal role in the talks and met with Egyptian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, but he was unable to convince the Brotherhood leaders to give up their demands.

Three weeks ago, the last attempt to achieve a resolution with the Muslim Brotherhood was made – the government promised to open a new chapter with them in exchange for stopping the movement’s demonstrations and re-integrating them in the political process. However, the movement, which is considered a terrorist organization in Egypt, refused to reconcile with the government.

[Photo: Jonathan Rashad / Flickr]