Egypt: Suleiman, opposition discuss blueprint for reform

New Egypt VP, Muslim Brotherhood and ElBaradei supporters, reportedly agree to review constitution, reject int'l interference, aim for peaceful transition to democracy; Clinton: US to "wait and see" how talks develop.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 6, 2011 15:28
2 minute read.
Anti-Mumarak protesters in Cairo

Mubarak crossed out 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Representatives from a wide range of Egypt's major opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, met Sunday with Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman to discuss a blueprint for reforms to put the country on a path toward greater democracy.

The opposition groups represented included the youthful supporters of leading democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei, who are one of the main forces behind nearly two weeks of mass protests demanding the immediate ouster of longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

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The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, and a number of smaller leftist, liberal groups also attended the meeting, according to footage shown on state television.

The government and the opposition agreed to review the constitution, reject foreign interference and aim for a peaceful transition from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to a new democratic regime, the BBC reported.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was open to the Muslim Brotherhood participating in the talks, saying the US will "wait and see" how the negotiations develop, Al Jazeera reported.

Prior to talks, senior Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mursi said the group was sticking to the protesters' main condition that Mubarak step down.

The talks marked the first known discussions between the government and the Brotherhood in years, suggesting the group could be allowed an open political role in the post-Mubarak era.

Some opposition leaders met with Suleiman on Saturday but said there was no breakthrough.

Also on Saturday, Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said it would be a "major setback" if the US chose to support Mubarak or Vice President Omar Suleiman to lead a transitional government, Reuters reported.

"To hear that Mubarak should stay and lead the process of change, and that the process of change should essentially be led by his closest military adviser, who's not the most popular person in Egypt, without the sharing of power with civilians, it would be very, very disappointing," ElBaradei said.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of unrest in Egypt


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