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Western and Arab mediators meet with Muslim Brothers leader

August 05, 2013, 9:32 UTC+3
Khairat al-Shater is considered to be a grey figure of the association
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

CAIRO, August 5 (Itar-Tass) - Western and Arab mediators succeeded to meet with Khairat al-Shater, the second top official in the Muslim Brothers association, in Egypt. The meeting was held at the Al-Aqrab prison outside Cairo and lasted one hour from midnight local time until 01:00 local time on Monday, MENA news agency reported.

Permit for the visit was received from the Egyptian Prosecutor General’s Office. The Egyptian Interior Ministry stated earlier that the ministry is not informed about the meeting between the foreign emissaries and al-Shater.

The delegation of mediators was reported to include U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean Region Bernardino Leon, Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Muhammad al-Atiyah and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayid Al Nuhayyan.

Al-Shater is Deputy Supreme Leader of Muslim Brothers. He is considered to be a grey figure of the association; he enjoyed an enormous influence in it and was disliked by people at the same time. This is al-Shater, who was in charge of the financial resources of the party. He has taken many decisions of the Islamists. At the first presidential elections after toppling of Hosni Mubarak he was running for top state post in the country, but was dropped from presidential race over previous convictions. He was released from prison during the 2011 Revolution. After him Mohammed Morsi became top politician of the country, but he was ousted from the presidential post by the army on July 3, 2013.

On August 4, it was stated that a trial over the criminal case for instigation to the killing of the protesters at the headquarters of the Islamists in the Cairo district Muqattam in the heat of massive anti-presidential protests on June 30 will begin against al-Shater, Badia and several other Muslim Brothers leaders on August 25.

Meanwhile, deputy head of the Salafite party Al-Watan Yusri Hamad said with confidence on Monday that Burns “has clear instructions to attain a release from prison” for al-Shater. In his view, this is needed to find a weighty political figure among the Muslim Brothers for negotiations with new authorities.

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