- Middle East/North Africa
The National Salvation Front (NSF) has rejected President Mohamed Morsy's call for political dialogue, arguing that the call failed to include any assurances for a serious discussion.
The front announced its stance in a press conference at the Wafd Party's headquarters and was attended by front leaders Mohamed ElBaradei, Amr Moussa and Hamdeen Sabbahi
Popular Current leader Sabbahi said the NSF is in solidarity with the people of the canal governorates who are currently under a state of emergency.
“We won’t accept a dialogue that will not benefit Egyptians. We participated in a dialogue with the president before, and that resulted in the issuing of the constitutional declaration. He then called for a dialogue that we rejected, and that yielded nothing as all parties withdrew," Sabbahi added.
Moussa, head of the Conference Party, said the NSF supports "dialogue, but a serious one that benefits the country.”
‘We demand guarantees for national dialogue. We have conditions that should be achieved ahead of starting dialogue, which should take place in the name of the Front,” Moussa said.
Moussa also called for dismissing Prime Minister Hesham Qandil's Cabinet and forming a national salvation government.
“None of the revolution’s goals have been achieved, such as freedom and social justice,” ElBaradei, the front's general coordinator, told reporters. He said the current situation is “a result of the government’s inability to ensure security, as well as disagreements over the Constitution, which undermines rights and freedoms.”
Morsy's call for national dialogue came amid violent clashes that have gripped the country and left at least 38 dead. Protests against the Muslim Brotherhood during demonstrations commemorating the 25 January uprising turned violent in Suez, and a judge's decision sentencing 21 defendants in the Port Said football violence case to death has led to unrest in Port Said.
Morsy made the call during a televised speech, in which he also announced a curfew in Suez, Ismailia and Port Said. ElBaradei, Sabbahi and Moussa were named in the invitation, as well as other leaders of both secular and Islamist parties.
ElBaradei said that instead of further security clampdowns, the government should rely on political solutions to the current crisis, while warning that the country's economy was also collapsing.
“The people should engage in communication to save Egypt from the deterioration we are experiencing," he said, adding that the front would support a "serious" dialogue with a specific agenda.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm website