The United States State Department said on Friday that the US believes there is still time for diplomacy to bring a peaceful end the political standoff in Egypt.
The statement contradicts the feelings on the ground in Cairo with the interim government saying that international attempts to mediate have not been successful. The Muslim Brotherhood leading Anti-Coup Coalition welcomes foreign delegations to talk but no concessions from either side have been made despite an intense week with numerous visits by foreign diplomats.
“We absolutely do not believe the time for dialogue has passed,” said State department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Friday. She said, “We feel, and continue to feel, it is essential,” adding that the US’ role in the situation is “to continue to encourage all sides to come together and find a peaceful resolution.”
She confirmed that Deputy Secretary of State William Burns made “some constructive suggestions” on his recent visit, but stressed that the decisions on moving forward must come from Egyptians.
Psaki stressed that the US “remain[s] in close contact with our counterparts around the world and in the region.” Burns worked closely with the European Union’s Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean, Bernardino León during the pair’s visit to Cairo last week. The US and EU representatives were also in close contact with the visiting United Arab Emirates and Qatari foreign ministers, with all four visiting the imprisoned deputy guide of the Brotherhood, Khairat El-Shater.
The State Department spokeswoman expressed concern over “threats of an increase in violence.”
“We remain concerned and troubled that government and opposition leaders have not yet found a way to break a dangerous stalemate,” she said.
Interim President Adly Mansour said in a speech on Thursday night that steps in dealing with the supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi will take place through “calculated and careful steps without lenience or indulgence.”
Interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi confirmed that the decision to clear the two main Anti-Coup Coalition sit-ins is final. No deadline has been set for the sit-ins to be cleared but the security forces have urged people to leave the sit-ins promising them a safe exit.
A spokesman for the Brotherhood, Gehad El-Haddad, told Daily News Egypt that any attempt to break up the sit-ins in would cause two more to spring up elsewhere.