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EU's Ashton In Cairo For Talks After Violent Weekend

July 29, 2013

European Union foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton is set to meet with the head of Egypt's armed forces and other officials to discuss the turbulent events in Egypt since the ouster of President Muhammad Morsi.

Ashton was scheduled to meet with General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and interim President Adli Mansour on July 29.

Ashton also plans to meet with representatives of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.

Ashton arrives in Egypt after a violent weekend that saw more than 70 people killed at a pro-Morsi demonstration in Cairo on July 27.

The situation in Egypt has been tense since the military forced Morsi from office at the beginning of the month.

Morsi's supporters have staged demonstrations calling for his release from custody and reinstatement as president.

Ashton has said the Muslim Brotherhood should be included in Egypt's political process.

Meanwhile, interim President Mansour has granted the prime minister powers to let the military arrest civilians.

A presidential decree issued on July 28 also gave Prime Minister Hazem Beblawy the power to cancel any verdict, except in a murder case, by the Emergency State Security Court.

The decree came as Morsi supporters vowed on July 28 to continue their protests despite bloody clashes the day before.

A least two more people were reported killed in separate incidents on July 28.

The violence was the worst single outbreak since Morsi was ousted by the military on July 3.

His Muslim Brotherhood movement says the death toll was more than 100.

On July 27, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on all sides to "take a step back from the brink."

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and dpa


Copyright (c) 2013. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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