Turkey calls for Morsi's release, outlines political transition

July 17, 2013 at 11:12 AM
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ANKARA, Turkey, July 17 (UPI) -- Turkey called for the release of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and offered a political transition plan to elected civilian leaders in eight months.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Egypt's ambassador to Turkey, Abderahman Salah El-Din, met during the weekend in the first official meeting between Turkish and Egyptian officials since Morsi was ousted and the constitution suspended July 3, Today's Zaman reported Tuesday.

Sources told Today's Zaman that during the closed-door meeting Gul told El-Din that the "strong, strategic and historical" relations between Turkey and Egypt should continue while stressing the importance of democratic transformation in Egypt.

Under Gul's proposal, the interim government would establish as soon as possible an all-inclusive 50-member committee tasked with writing a new constitution in 30 days, which would be put to a vote 30 days later, Today's Zaman said.

The interim government also would establish an independent electoral commission and call parliamentary elections in three months. Presidential elections would follow a month later.

Egypt's interim leadership also outlined a fast-track timetable to elect a new president and parliament by early next year. Under the plan proposed by Egypt's interim president, two panels would be appointed to propose amendments to the constitution passed under Morsi's government. The amendments would be put to a referendum within about four months.

Parliamentary elections would be held within two months after the referendum on constitutional amendments. A presidential election would be set once the new parliament convenes.

Gul also urged Egyptian authorities to immediately release Morsi and avoid "hurting him."

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