Jailed Muslim Brotherhood leader visited by Western envoys
Khairat el-Shater leaves following a press conference in Cairo on April 9, 2012. Egyptian police arrested Shater, widely seen as the most influential Islamist politician behind deposed president Mohamed Morsi, an interior ministry general told AFP. (AFP file photo)
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A high-ranking member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood was visited in jail on Monday by Western and Arab envoys, the state news agency MENA reported.
Deputy Brotherhood leader Khairat el-Shater was visited just after midnight. Shater is seen as the Brotherhood's main political strategist and was arrested after Islamist President Mohammed Morsi's downfall on charges of inciting violence.
The envoys had received permission from the prosecutor general to visit him at Tora prison, south of Cairo, the MENA reported.
Shater is deputy leader of the group that propelled Morsi to office last year in Egypt's first democratic presidential election.
The visit is believed to be part of an international bid to defuse the crisis ignited by Morsi's downfall, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, thousands of Morsi supporters remain camped out in two Cairo sit-ins, which the government has declared a threat to national security and pledged to disperse.
Morsi is facing a probe into accusations including murder and being held at an undisclosed location.