Muslim Bros. wants unconditional talks

Feb. 1, 2013 at 1:51 PM
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CAIRO, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The Muslim Brotherhood said it welcomed calls from the Egyptian opposition for political dialogue but said talks must be done without preconditions.

Demonstrations in Cairo continued Friday, when protesters strained security forces deployed around the presidential palace. Protests last week turned deadly, prompting President Mohamed Morsi to declare a state of emergency in parts of the country.

Frustration in the streets has overshadowed political developments since the 2011 revolution. Morsi in June became the first president in Egyptian history to win in a democratic vote.

Dozens of political leaders stood behind the so-called al-Azhar document that aims to bring an end to the violence in a 10-point agreement that backs "peaceful means of political action."

Ahmed Arif, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, said the Islamist movement welcomes the commitment to dialogue. He advised, however, against moving forward with "preconditions or presumptions," reports Egyptian news agency al-Ahram.

Morsi hails from the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, Freedom and Justice Party. He's faced criticism over the role that Islam may play in post-revolutionary politics.

The news agency reports that revolutionary groups in Egypt rejected the document, signed Thursday, saying it was an effort to make protests illegal while supporting emergency laws.

Morsi was criticized for enacting emergency laws that give the military the power to arrest civilians.

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