Ashton’s spokesperson Maja Kocijancic confirmed that High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Vice-President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton met ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Monday evening and talked with him for two hours “deep conversation. Morsi was overthrown by a military coup on July 3. He had been held incommunicado since his ouster. According to some reports Ashton was flown by helicopter and Morsi is held outside of Cairo.
Ashton told reporters in Cairo that her meeting with Morsi took place at an undisclosed location. She said: “I saw where Morsi and what facilities he has, but I don’t know where he is”. She said: “he has access to information, in terms of TV and newspapers, so we were able to talk about the situation and we were able to talk about the need to move forward”.
Egypt’s authorities accused Morsi of collaborating with Hamas in the Gaza Strip and escaping detention during protests against former autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Ashton tries to make reconciliation between Egypt’s rulers and the Muslim Brotherhood and to pull the country back from more bloodshed as one of the only EU outsiders that is accepted by both sides as a potential mediator.
Foreign countries are urging the military-backed rulers to reach compromise with Morsi’s Brotherhood to bring the country back from the brink of further bloodshed. On Saturday July, 27 2013 over 120 Brotherhood supporters were gunned down and more than 440 were injured among them at least hundred in critical at the intensive care units in the hospitals.
The government has ordered the Brotherhood to abandon a vigil it has maintained with thousands of supporters camping out to demand Morsi’s return. The Brotherhood says it will not leave the streets unless Morsi is restored.
Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said: “It’s very simple, we are not going anywhere”.
The violence has raised global anxiety that the army may try to crush the Brotherhood, a movement which emerged from decades in the shadows to win power in elections after Egypt’s 2011 Arab Spring uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
On the other hand, Ashton met General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of the army and the man who overthrew Egypt’s first freely-elected president. She also held talks with members of Road-map government appointed by the army and with representatives of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood’s political wing.
Thousands of Brotherhood supporters have been camped out for a month at Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, demanding Morsi’s reinstatement and defying threats by the army-backed authorities to remove them.