Mubarak leaves prison for house arrestra

Updated: 2013-08-23 06:34


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The Brotherhood's ability to stage pro-Morsi demonstrations has faded in the past few days. One of its spokesmen, Ahmed Aref, was arrested on Thursday, the state news agency reported.

Brotherhood supporters have nevertheless called on Egyptians to hold marches on the weekly Muslim prayer day, billed as a "Friday of Martyears", against the army takeover.

A pro-Morsi alliance called the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy said in a statement: "We will remain steadfast on the road to defeating the military coup."

Alarmed by the bloodshed, the United States and European Union are reviewing their aid to Cairo. Saudi Arabia, a foe of the Brotherhood, has promised to cover any shortfall. It and other rich Gulf Arab states have already pledged $12 billion since Morsi's fall.

EU foreign ministers stopped short of agreeing immediate cuts in aid to Egypt on Wednesday, in part because of concern that doing so could damage any future EU mediation effort.

An EU attempt to broker a compromise collapsed before security forces cleared out the Brotherhood protest camps.

James Moran, the bloc's ambassador in the Egyptian capital, described reconciliation prospects as a huge challenge.

"Passions are high, emotions are high. Things have to cool off a little bit," he said, skirting a question on whether the Brotherhood is committed to terrorism, as state media contend.

"It would be good if this is not all painted one colour. There may be different strains of opinion within the Islamist movement," he said. "One thing is for sure - the Islamist constituency is there, and you are going to have to find a way somehow of living with it."

A senior United Nations official, Jeffrey Feltman, met interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi on Thursday as part of an effort to promote peace and reconciliation.

The government has bristled at foreign attempts to use aid or persuasion to nudge it to seek a political compromise.

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