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U.S.-EU concerned over Egypt’s 'dangerous stalemate'

Published: Updated:

The United States and the European Union said in a joint statement on Wednesday that they remain concerned about the failure of Egyptian parties to “break a dangerous stalemate."

“We remain concerned and troubled that government and opposition leaders have not yet found a way to break a dangerous stalemate and agree to implement tangible confidence building measures,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a joint statement, according to Reuters.

U.S., EU, Qatari and UAE envoys visited Egypt for several days trying to bridge the difference between rival political parties in Egypt.

“This remains a very fragile situation, which holds not only the risk of more bloodshed and polarization in Egypt, but also impedes the economic recovery which is so essential for Egypt’s successful transition,” the U.S.-EU statement added.

The military-backed government said the mediation efforts have failed, blaming the Muslim Brotherhood and holding it responsible for what happens next.

The government later vowed to remove Islamist protest camps, sparking fears of a violent end to the month-old standoff since former President Mohammad Mursi’s ouster.

“The cabinet affirms that the decision to disperse the Rabaa Adawiya and Nahda sit-ins is a final decision, on which all agree, and there is no going back on it,” Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi said on state television, according to AFP.

Protesters have been camped out in the two Cairo squares and insist they will stay until the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mursi is reinstated as president.

“We call on them now, anew, to quickly leave, and return to their homes and work, without being chased if their hands have not been soiled by blood,” Beblawi said.