By Mostafa Salem
The US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns extended his stay once again to continue his meetings with different political factions as part of reconciliation effort initiated by different diplomatic missions.
The extension comes as the Emirati foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Nahyan as well as the Qatari foreign minister Khalid Al-Attiyah also extended their stay with the intention of meeting different groups. They were set to leave on Monday.
Burns, Al-Nahyan and Al-Attiyah’s stopover come as an addition to the increasing diplomatic presence which currently includes EU special representative, Bernadino Leon.
Badr Abdel Atty, spokesman for the foreign ministry, declined the meeting of Qatari foreign minister with Nabil Fahmy, while affirming Burns’ meeting.
The Qatari embassy had no information about who the Qatari ambassador is set to meet while confirming reports of the Emirati foreign minister’s meeting with Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi.
Other different political factions met with Burns yesterday, including the Freedom and Justice party delegation, including ex-ministers Amro Darrag, Mohamed Aly Beshr as well as Tarek Al-Malt from Al-Wasat party.
The announcement came late Sunday evening before the scheduled arrival of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham Monday, as confirmed by the US embassy.
The extension came following Leon, Burns, Al-Attiyah and Al-Nahyan’s meeting with Khairat El-Shater in Al-Aqrab prison on Sunday evening in the midst of reports of Burn’s meeting with Saad Al-Katatni.
The presence of the Qatari and Emirati foreign ministers soon after the African Union delegation and Catherine Ashton is indicative of a noticeable increase in diplomatic activity.