Sources: Sisi meets with ex-Brotherhood figures, plan to pardon underway

Presidential sources said on Wednesday that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s meeting with several dissident Muslim Brotherhood leaders at Ettehadiya Presidential Palace on Wednesday was based on their request.
During the meeting, the ex-Brotherhood figures, including Kamal al-Helbawy, Tharwat al-Kharbawy and Mokhtar Nouh offered proposals to face the extremist ideology of terrorist groups that the country could benefit from later, the sources added.
They also proposed what they described as a national project to confront terrorism and extremism, according to the sources.
Though many outside analysts have called for the regime to reconciliate with the Brotherhood, Sisi in the past has refused, claiming that the organization is violent and does not deserve a seat at the table.
In related news, a plan to pardon some Brotherhood members, which would allow them to leave custody in exchange for signing an agreement, is currently in the works.
Informed sources said meetings are taking place among Muslim Brotherhood figures, involved in several lawsuits, and members of the special committee on reconciliation with the group’s prisoners. The committee includes both Helbawy and Tareq al-Bishbeeshy, ex-Brotherhood member.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources said that the meetings are taking place upon request of the security services within government’s desire to release prisoners over the coming few years. The meetings, according to the sources, came up with positive outcome including that those who signed the ‘repentance petitions’, which repudiates and cedes any links to the Brotherhood.
Several Brotherhood figures await their release over the coming few days after cutting their ties to the group, the sources added.
Atef Galal, defense lawyer of those who signed the petition, filed a request to Interior Ministry to expedite their release.
Montasser al-Zayyat, lawyer for Islamist groups, considered the petitions as “pure security idea that is taking place due to the crisis that the Interior Ministry has been through which is the lack of place in prisons for such huge number of inmates.”
“The petitions are correct as they attempt copying intellectual revisions that took place in prisons during the 1990s for detainees who were arrested due to their beliefs in extremist ideology. They stayed in prisons for years without trials,” he added.
“There is a team that is managing the revisions for members who seek quiet life away from violence and terrorism. Government should immediately get those released engaged within the society,” Nouh said. “I guarantee that the repentant one will never return back to the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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