Egyptian gov't to hold talks with Muslim Brotherhood

15:51, February 06, 2011      

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The Egyptian government will hold talks with the Muslim Brotherhood, after the opposition group finally agreed to have dialogues with Vice President Omar Suleiman in a bid to end the country's political turmoil, officials said on Saturday.

In what would be the first dialogue of its kind between the two sides, Suleiman is expected to meet members of the Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday, the group's officials confirmed to reporters.

The topics will be centered on power transition and future of the most populous nation in the Arab world, they said.

The group, which had rejected the government's offer for talks, changed its mind after all the executive committee members of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party, including President Hosni Mubarak's son Gamal Mubarak, resigned en massse on Saturday, the 12th day of Egypt's unrest, which saw fewer protesters in Cairo's downtown Tahrir square.

The resignation of the ruling party leadership was Mubarak's latest move to appease protestors demanding his resignation as president. According to analysts, it erased any chances for Gamal Mubarak to succeed the presidency.

Before the Muslim Brotherhood, two other main Egyptian opposition parties, namely El Wafd and El Tagammu, consented to dialogues with the new cabinet on Saturday, in response to calls from Suleiman.

With the Muslim Brotherhood on board, almost all legal political parties have agreed to dialogue with the government.

Earlier, the group and top opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei said that they would not accept any dialogue before the immediate departure of Mubarak.

Mubarak announced on Tuesday that he did not intend to run for next term. But he insisted on staying in power until his term ends after presidential elections in September.

The military, which is crucial for deciding whether the embattled president will step down, has so far given no hint of its stance.

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