CAIRO (AP) — A senior U.S. diplomat is meeting with officials on both sides of Egypt’s political divide to try to head off any more bloodshed.
The effort by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns comes as Egypt’s Interior Ministry issued a second warning to supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi to abandon their protest encampments. Burns met today with Egypt’s interim president and vice president, and is also scheduled to meet with Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and its allies.
Egyptian authorities have outlined plans in recent days to break up the two main sit-ins by Morsi’s supporters in a bid to end the political stalemate that has paralyzed the country since the military overthrew the Islamist leader on July 3.
Morsi’s backers say they will not disperse until he is returned to power, setting the stage for a potential bloody showdown if security forces move in on the two main sites that are home to tens of thousands of protesters.
079-r-05-(Sound of Morsi supporters chanting slogans against Egypt’s military leader, in Arabic, saying “Leave, Leave”, marching through the streets of Cairo)–Sound of supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi calling on Egypt’s military chief to step down. (3 Aug 2013)
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APPHOTO KH106: Supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi sit on a street as they protest near Cairo airport in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Aug. 2, 2013. Authorities outlined plans Friday to break up two sit-ins by supporters of deposed Morsi, saying they would set up a cordon around the protest sites, and riot police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators threatening a TV complex. Morsi backers also showed their defiance by briefly setting up a third camp near the airport, but later folded their tents and left. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) (2 Aug 2013)
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