Mursi supporters plan mass demonstrations during U.S. diplomatic visit
Supporters of Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi chant islamic slogans during a rally outside Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque on July 13, 2013. (Source: AFP/MARWAN NAAMANI)
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Thousands of supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohammed Mursi are expected to take to the streets of Cairo on Monday.
The anticipated protests will come amid a visit from the first senior U.S. official to visit Egypt since the army toppled Mursi.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns may face awkward questions when he visits Cairo, where portraits of the American ambassador, Anne Patterson, have been overwritten with the words "Go home, witch," Reuters reported.
Burns’ visit will include talks with the military and comes as Egypt's interim prime minister finalizes his cabinet.
The Brotherhood, from which Mursi hails, has refused to join the new government headed by caretaker Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi.
Burns will push for "an end to all violence and a transition leading to an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government" at meetings in Cairo with various parties, a statement from the U.S. State Department said.
The U.S. administration has still not decided whether he was the victim of a coup, which would legally require a freeze on some $1.5 billion in vital military and economic U.S. assistance to Cairo.
On Sunday, two influential Republican U.S. lawmakers, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain, urged the administration to cut the aid in response to the coup.
Monday’s expected protests will come after an assets freeze against nine senior Brotherhood figures as part of an investigation ordered by chief prosecutor Hisham Barakat.
Those targeted include leader Mohammed Badie and five Islamists from other groups including ex-militant faction Gamaa Islamiya, judicial sources said.
The investigation relates to four deadly incidents since Mursi's overthrow, including clashes in Cairo last Monday in which dozens died, according to AFP.