‘Egypt meeting inconclusive’ | Pakistan Today

‘Egypt meeting inconclusive’

CAIRO/WASHINGTON – Egyptian opposition groups said on Sunday a meeting with Vice-President Omar Suleiman was positive but had done nothing specific to meet their demands for a complete political overhaul in Egypt.
Abdel Monem Aboul Fotouh, a senior member of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood which joined the talks despite the fact it is officially banned, said the government statement represented “good intentions but does not include any solid changes.” “We need President Mubarak to issue presidential decrees to change articles 76, 77, dissolve the parliament, release all political detainees the government knows very well, end emergency status,” he said.
“Until then, the youth will remain on the streets and at the same time, discussions will continue,” he said. Aboul Fotouh was referring to an article of the constitution covering presidential elections, which now effectively put Mubarak’s ruling party in a position to choose the next president, and another that allows the president to run for unlimited presidential terms.
“The meeting was positive in general but it is only the beginning. We appreciated Omar Suleiman meeting with us independently after a general meeting with all political forces,” Mustafa Naggar, coordinator for Mohamed ElBaradei’s National Association for Change, said after the talks. “We demanded a full democratic transformation and not partial reforms. But Suleiman responded: ‘Democracy comes in stages and I am keen that there is a peaceful transitional period and civilian rule’.”
Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei slammed fledgling negotiations on Egypt’s future on Sunday and said he was not invited to the talks. The Nobel Peace laureate said the weekend talks with Egyptian Vice-President Omar Suleiman were managed by the same people who had ruled the country for 30 years and lack credibility. He said the negotiations were not a step toward the change protesters had demanded.
“The process is opaque. Nobody knows who is talking to whom at this stage,” ElBaradei, the former head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It’s managed by Vice-President Suleiman,” ElBaradei said. “It is all managed by the military and that is part of the problem,” adding that he had not been part of the negotiations.
Meanwhile, the youth groups behind the opposition’s revolt formed a coalition, insisting that they would not end their occupation of Tahrir Square until President Hosni Mubarak left the office. A statement by the ‘unified leadership of the youth of the rage revolution’ vowed not to end the protest in the central Cairo square until seven demands are met – chief among them the resignation of the president. The statement was read by Ziad al-Oulaimi at a news conference.
He is one of six leaders of the coalition, which he said was formed following clashes on January 27 in which 38 people were killed. The coalition unites representatives of the April 6 movement, the Justice and Freedom group, the Door-Knocking Campaign, the Popular Campaign in Support of ElBaradei, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Democratic Front Party.
Other demands of the coalition include the lifting of longstanding emergency law, the dissolution the parliament, and a national unity government to secure a peaceful transition of power and oversee constitutional reform. They also want a judicial committee to probe the collapse of security last week and the killing and wounding of thousands of people.
In addition, the coalition wants the army to protect demonstrators from the violence of criminals and thugs belonging to the corrupt regime, and to secure a supply of food and medical material to the demonstrators.



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