Muslim Brotherhood to begin talks with Egyptian gov't

Senior official of Islamist opposition group says Brotherhood sticking with demand that Mubarak step down.

Muslim Brotherhood Leadership Council in Egypt 311 AP (photo credit: AP)
Muslim Brotherhood Leadership Council in Egypt 311 AP
(photo credit: AP)
Egypt's largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, said it would begin talks Sunday with the government to try and end the country's political crisis.
The announcement by the fundamentalist group came on the 13th day of mass demonstrations calling for the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's authoritarian ruler of nearly 30 years. Mubarak has said he would not run for the presidency again in elections slated for September, but has insisted he will serve out the remaining seven months of his current term to supervise a peaceful transfer of power.
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The outlawed Brotherhood said in a statement that its representatives would meet with Vice President Omar Suleiman to press its "legitimate and just demands."
Senior Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mursi said the group was sticking to the protesters' main condition that Mubarak step down. He told The Associated Press the talks will take place later Sunday.
These would be 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.
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