El-Sisi committed to "formation of constitution"
EGYPT, Cairo : Egyptian opponents of deposed president Mohamed Morsi hold up a poster of army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on July 26, 2013 during a protest in Cairo. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMED EL-SHAHED
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Egypt’s armed forces chief and defence minister, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, has said he is committed to a political process which includes “the formation of a constitution” and holding elections, according to American officials.
United States Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel urged his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to oversee an "inclusive political process" during a Saturday phone call, reported Pentagon Press Secretary George Little in a statement.
Little said that El-Sisi assured his counterpart that Egyptian authorities were taking steps toward political reconciliation.
Following former president Mohamed Morsi's ouster by the military after mass protests against him, senior members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood were arrested on charges of incitement of violence. Morsi himself was charged with espionage and breaking out of prison – charges dating back to before his presidency.
The military issued a roadmap in collaboration with various political groups that includes amending the constitution, parliamentary elections, and presidential elections.
While Morsi's supporters have held daily protests demanding his return to power since his ouster on 3 July, and have been holding two sit-ins in Greater Cairo, efforts to broker a deal have intensified recently, with international visitors allowed to visit Morsi and other Brotherhood leaders in detention.
On Sunday, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, the EU representative Bernadino Leon, and the foreign ministers of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Khalid Al-Attiyah and Abdullah bin Zayed, met with senior Brotherhood figure Khairat El-Shater.
Dozens of people have been killed in violent clashes since Morsi’s ouster.
Over a hundred of the former president's supporters were killed in two separate incidents in July when protesters clashed with security forces. The violence led many foreign nations – including the US and EU – to voice unease about Egypt's current transition.
Burns also plans to visit Saad El-Katatni, the detained head of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, on Monday.