Senior European diplomatic sources said that EU envoy Bernardino León’s short visit to Cairo on Tuesday, during which he met with both Egyptian officials and representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, did not lead to any tangible results.
The sources attributed the visit’s failure to the interim government’s lack of desire to compromise with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood’s Deputy General Guide Khairat El-Shater is also refusing to agree to any settlement where the Brotherhood does not achieve real gains from the regime.
Nevertheless, Egyptian and European sources told Al-Shorouq news that despite the difficulties, the efforts to search for some kind of solution continue.
One source indicated that Egypt’s Defence Minister General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi also hopes that there will be a solution; however, he is determined that any such solution must be based on the understanding that the Muslim Brotherhood have wasted all opportunities and the power they have lost will not return anytime soon.
But the source added that Al-Sisi is indeed keen to integrate the Freedom and Justice Party back into the political process through allowing them to vote on the draft constitution, even if they would oppose it, as well as by involving them in parliamentary elections.
Al-Shorouq reports that Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Bishr told Leon during his visit that the Brotherhood refuses to participate in the vote on the draft constitution, and stressed that the “prosecutions against ousted President Mohammed Morsi supporters must all immediately stop”.
The sources also explained that while Al-Sisi appears to be keen on the idea of running for Egypt’s presidency, he has not actually signalled the go-ahead for any presidential elections, waiting to end the political bickering first, which he sets as his chief goal.
Political sources who spoke with Muslim Brotherhood leaders out of prison indicated that the Brotherhood leans towards supporting a strong candidate who could face Al-Sisi in the presidential election.