By Nourhan Dakroury
There can be no reconciliation amid ongoing bloodshed, the Muslim Brotherhood said following their boycott of the first meeting of the National Reconciliation and Transitional Justice committee on Wednesday.
The meeting, led by interim president Adly Mansour, included various government officials and leading figures of popular movements, as well as the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb and Pope Tawadros II.
Al-Azhar in a Tuesday statement called on all Egyptians to participate in the national reconciliation and “to approach it with a spirit of belief, sincerity and transparency to achieve the unity of the people and their security.”
The statement read: “Al-Azhar fully supports the initiative for total national reconciliation that launches tomorrow [Wednesday] without excluding anyone.”
Al-Azhar said these calls come from the institution’s religious responsibility to help guide the people through this dangerous period, adding that this would ensure the unity of the people for the greater good of the country.
Minister of Defence Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi announced his support for the national reconciliation, saying: “We want to come out of it having learnt how to disagree.”
Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, head of centrist the Misr Al-Qawia Party, said in a tweet: “The military coup government that failed to stop the daily bloodshed detains tens of peaceful protesters and surrounds media and closes its channel; what reconciliation is it calling for?”
Ahmed Aref, Brotherhood spokesman, told state-owned Al-Ahram that the Brotherhood refused the invitation to the meeting, since it comes from an “illegitimate authority” and “there cannot be reconciliation while blood is being shed.”
Aref said that this position is not only the Brotherhood’s, but also that of all political parties that are part of the National Coalition to Support Legitimacy.
Those attending the meeting included Al-Wafd Party Chairman Al-Sayed Al-Badawy, Chairman of the Reform and Development Misruna Party Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat, head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party Mohamed Aboul Ghar, Free Egyptians Party head Mohamed Saeed, and Mohamed Sami of the Dignity Party, according to Al-Ahram.
The attendees also included a wide range of public officials and professionals, including writer Alaa Al-Aswany, Kamal Heblawy, Emad Gad, and Samir Morcos.