The Obama administration is apparently failing to please either the military leadership in Egypt or Muslim Brotherhood officials in its diplomatic efforts to find a way out of the coup-induced crisis.
Both coup leader Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi and Brotherhood leadership are critical of the US approach. Egypt is regarded as Washington's main partner in the Middle East after Israel so it is important for the US to find a solution to the political crisis as a matter of urgency.
Since the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood has been relying on support from the fundamentalist opposition but there are growing doubts about such a strategy, even amongst Islamists. Anti-coup protests, meanwhile, continue apace even as Egyptian and international mediators seek a way out of the impasse.
Following a meeting with a delegation led by US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, the leader of the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy, the Wasat Party's Tariq al-Malt, said that the issue of Morsi's return was not discussed. "However, we rejected the army's role in the political process," he explained. "We have expressed our respect for the demonstrators who took to the streets on June 30, but they also have to respect the desire of thousands of protesters who have been out for more than a month now to demand the removal of the army from politics."
On a related note, Al-Sisi had a meeting with a delegation of prominent Muslim Scholars who demanded the release of Islamist detainees.