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Report: U.S. Envoys to Meet Brotherhood Leader

Western and Arab envoys will visit jailed Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt, says Al Jazeera. Egypt denies.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/5/2013, 4:46 AM

Muslim Brotherhood supporters protest in front of the High Court in Cairo
Muslim Brotherhood supporters protest in front of the High Court in Cairo
AFP photo

A group of Western and Arab envoys will visit jailed Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat El-Shater as part of efforts to end Egypt's crisis, the Al Jazeera network reported on Sunday.

The channel gave no further details on the meeting, but said that the envoys from the United States, the European Union, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have been meeting allies of deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and the country’s new administration in a bid to defuse the crisis.

Shater is the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and its main political strategist. He was the Brotherhood’s original candidate for the presidential elections last year, but was disqualified by the election commission, and the Brotherhood named Morsi as its candidate instead.

Shater was jailed along with Morsi and other senior Muslim Brotherhood officials when the army deposed Morsi last month.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry later denied the report about the planned visit with Shater.

Abdel Fattah Othman, a top Interior Ministry official, told the official MENA news agency that the report of the visit was completely untrue.

Meanwhile on Sunday, reported AFP, an Egyptian court set an August 25 as trial date for the Muslim Brotherhood chief, his two deputies and three other group members leaders for their alleged involvement in protesters’ deaths.

Sunday’s announcement came after army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sissi met Deputy U.S. Secretary of State William Burns, a military source said.

Egypt’s prosecutor recently issued fresh arrest warrants for nine Muslim Brotherhood officials in Egypt, including leader Mohammed Badie.

General prosecutor Hisham Barakat ordered the leaders' arrests for "ordering armed groups to cut off highways and threaten violence in the city of Qalyub, spreading violence and damaging public interest.”