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Egypt's military chief meets Islamists over political crisis

Egyptian military chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi met overnight with representatives of the country's Islamic forces to discuss the current political crisis, according to an army's statement published Sunday.

During the meeting, Sisi said "the country's president and prime minister are those assigned with the tasks of running the state," army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali said in the statement published on the armed forces' Facebook page.

"The armed forces appreciate all the exerted efforts from all sides to end the sit-ins in peaceful ways," said the statement.

Sisi also stressed that there are opportunities for a peaceful solution to the crisis as long as all sides reject violence.

When meeting Abdullah Shaker, chief of the Salafist Intellectual Shura Council, preacher Mohamed Hassan and other ultra-conservative Salafist members, Sisi promised not to end the peaceful protests with violence, daily al-Masry el-Youn newspapers reported Sunday.

Hassan said his attempt for reconciliation is in coordination with the National Alliance for Supporting Legitimacy, a pro-Morsi alliance led by the deposed leader's Muslim Brotherhood.

"The Alliance members are asking for preventing bloodshed, not ending the protests by force, and releasing those detained after June 30," he reiterated.

"The national reconciliation is very important," Hassan said, adding that he will meet and convince the members of the alliance to join the dialogue.

Morsi's supporters have been holding sit-ins for over a month at Rabaa Al Adawiya square in Cairo's Nasr City and al-Nahda square in Giza, demanding the reinstatement of their legitimate president.

The Interior Ministry called again on Saturday for ending the sit-ins, promising "safe exit" for Morsi's loyalists.

[Source: Xinhua, Cairo, 04Aug13]

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Crisis in Egypt
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