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EU’s Ashton headed to Cairo for talks

Published: Updated:

EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton is scheduled to arrive in Egypt on Sunday amid the ongoing conflict over the ouster of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi.

“Ashton will begin a visit to Cairo this evening during which she will meet with President Adly Mansour, Vice President for International Affairs Mohamed ElBaradei and Egyptian officials,” ElBaradei’s office said in a statement.

Ashton will also meet with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood – from which Mursi hails – as well as members of the Tamarod movement that has organized protests against the Islamist president, the state news agency MENA quoted diplomatic sources as saying.

Al least 72 people have died at pro-Mursi protests in Cairo on Saturday, with demonstrators accusing the Egyptian authorities of firing live rounds. However, the police said they only used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Ashton on July 17 was in Cairo and called for the release of Mursi, who has been in custody and is now facing charges related to his escape from prison during the 2011 uprising, which deposed strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Mursi was ousted on July 3 by the military following mass protests demanding his resignation.

(With AFP)