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German FM on mediation mission in Egypt


11:16, August 01, 2013

CAIRO, July 31 (Xinhua) -- German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Wednesday arrived in Cairo for a three-day visit, stepping up diplomatic efforts to resolve the political deadlock amid looming fresh bloodshed in the country.

According to state-run MENA news agency, Westerwelle is expected to discuss with Egyptian officials about the latest developments in Egypt and issues of mutual interest. He is also to meet Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

Westerwelle's visit comes in the framework of the European mediation efforts to bring all Egyptian political factions to the negotiation table.

Al-Ahrame, a semi-official newspaper, reported that Westerwelle has received no response from the Egyptian authorities to his request for a meeting with ousted President Mohamed Morsi, who has been held incommunicado since his overthrow by the military on July 3.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for Morsi's release and resolving the current political crisis through dialogue.

Before Westerwelle, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton made her second trip to Egypt this month, during which she met Morsi on Tuesday.

Ashton said she had a "friendly, open and very frank discussion" with the ousted leader at an undisclosed location outside Cairo where he is being held.

Meanwhile, African Wise Panel, a nine-member African Union delegation headed by former president of Mali Alpha Oumar Konare, met with the deposed leader Tuesday night.

"He told us that he was ousted from power and that he feels unfairness," Fetus Mogae, former president of Botswana, was quoted by MENA as saying.

Despite the diplomatic efforts to resolve the political deadlock, fears of fresh bloodshed are looming in Egypt on Thursday as the interim government said two Cairo vigils by supporters of Morsi posed a threat to national security.

The military-backed government ordered the interior ministry to take steps to "address these dangers and put an end to them," setting the tone of a possible showdown with the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies.

The Brotherhood has refused to leave the streets until Morsi is released and reinstated.

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