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Ashton says Morsi is 'fine'; Muslim Brotherhood to protest

July 30, 2013 at 9:50 AM   |   Comments

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CAIRO, July 30 (UPI) -- Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is well and offered best wishes to the outside world, European Union foreign policy head Catherin Ashton said Tuesday.

While Ashton told a news conference she met with the ousted president, she did not know the location of his confinement, Ahram Online reported.

"Mohamed Morsi is fine. I met him and we had a friendly discussion for two hours," Ashton said during a news conference in Cairo. "I do not know where he is; it is an undisclosed location. He is in good health and he sends good wishes to the outside world."

Ashton told the BBC she met Morsi at a military facility after she traveled to the destination at night using various means of transportation.

"He had been told about half an hour before I arrived that I was coming. He was, I think, pleased to see me," she said. "He is there with two advisers. They are there together. It is a military place. The people around him do care for him. I looked at the facilities."

She said Morsi, who was removed from office July 3 amid protests about his administration, has access to television and newspapers.

Ashton said she would not have traveled to Egypt unless she could see the ousted president and denied reports she offered Morsi a "safe exit."

The European Union foreign policy leader also said her efforts to help broker a deal to end the violence and resolve the political crisis paralyzing the country since Morsi's removal should not be construed as her telling Egyptians what to do, Ahram Online said.

The European Union wants to "help the people of Egypt determine their own future," Ashton said. "This great country has to move forward, and has to do so in an inclusive way. We need to find a calm solution to the situation."

Since arriving in Cairo Sunday night, Ashton has met with senior government leaders and representatives of the Rebel campaign, whose demonstrations led to Morsi's ouster.

The Muslim Brotherhood Tuesday called on followers to participate in a million man march dubbed "Martyrs of the Coup" to protest the deadly violence plaguing the country since Morsi's ouster and to demand Morsi's reinstatement.

The National Coalition for Supporting Legitimacy, a Brotherhood offshoot, urged supporters to participate in the protest and condemned the killing of dozens of followers during the weekend, Ahram Online said.

"We call on the masses to rage against the bloodshed of unarmed Egyptians and to take to the streets and continue the peaceful revolt against the oppressive measures practiced by the leaders of the coup d'etat," a statement said.

About 80 Brotherhood followers were killed and hundreds injured in the weekend violence.

Fifteen Egyptians were killed Monday in central Cairo, the Middle East News Agency reported.

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