National dialogue postponed; Strong Egypt suspends participation

National dialogue postponed; Strong Egypt suspends participation

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Wed, 13/02/2013 - 13:53

The opposition Strong Egypt Party said Wednesday it is pulling out of President Mohamed Morsy's national dialogue.

Al Jazeera reported that the party, led by former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, said the president is not serious enough about the talks, which were slated to convene Wednesday but have been postponed.

“The presidency is not taking seriously the initiatives proposed by various political groups,” Mohamed Othman, a member of the party's political bureau, told the channel.

“There are no real guarantees from the president’s side for the implementation of the outcome of talks,” Othman added.

The national dialogue between the president, opposition leaders and political parties is among the administration's recent efforts to ease political tension that has simmered for months, bringing continued unrest to the country and further battering its already ailing economy.

Other political parties have also stepped in with their own initiatives. The Salafi-oriented Nour Party recently proposed appointing a new prosecutor general and reconciling with members of the formerly-ruling National Democratic Party who were not involved in corruption. The party also called for a more inclusive dialogue between all political groups and an agreement to renounce political violence.

Morsy's office said it would reschedule Wednesday's session after some parties suspended their participation, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. The president hopes all parties absent from previous sessions will attend the upcoming talks, which are expected to be rescheduled for next week, spokesperson Yasser Ali was reported as saying.

The decision to postpone was made because, after convening Tuesday night to prepare for the meeting, political forces requested time to communicate with other groups and encourage more participation in the talks.

Ali reiterated previous statements that no limits or preconditions have been imposed on the talks.