German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has asked the Egyptian authorities to reintegrate the Muslim Brotherhood into society. The movement was banned by a Cairo court on Monday.
Westerwelle discussed the issue with his Egyptian counterpart Nabil Fahmi on the fringe of the UN General Assembly in New York. Sources close to the German minister reported that he called for dialogue between all of Egypt's political factions, including the Muslim Brotherhood. He stressed the importance of a swift return to democracy in Egypt.
Since the first freely-elected president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, was removed by a military coup on July 3, the army has carried out a bloody crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and killed more than 1,000 of its officials, members and supporters; around 5,000 have been injured and tens of thousands more have been arrested. Following the banning order by the court in Cairo, all of the Brotherhood's activities have been banned and its assets have been seized, including the assets of its leadership and members. This includes rented properties as well as wholly-owned buildings and land.