CAIRO (Reuters) – A meeting of Syria’s splintered opposition in Cairo descended into scuffles and fistfights on Tuesday that dealt another blow to Western leaders seeking a unified front against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The meeting also failed to resolve many of the differences between the rival Syrian opposition groups, further complicating efforts to find a viable alternative to rule by Assad, whose forces have killed thousands of Syrian civilians and combatants.
CAIRO (Reuters) – An Italian priest may seem an unlikely champion of Syrian national unity, yet Paolo Dall’Oglio’s efforts to bridge deep sectarian divisions have gained him a following among a people shattered by conflict.
Bashar al-Assad’s government expelled Dall’Oglio last month, three decades after he revived a monastery on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Syrian desert that became a centre for dialogue between the country’s myriad ethnic and religious communities.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Arab states and Turkey urged Syria’s divided opposition on Monday to unite and form a credible alternative to the government of President Bashar al-Assad, but rifts swiftly emerged at talks in Cairo.
The unity calls were made at the opening of a two-day meeting organized by the Arab League to try to rally Syria’s opposition, which has been beset by in-fighting that diplomats say have made it tougher for the world to respond to the crisis.
CAIRO (Reuters) – If Egypt’s new president, Mohamed Mursi, needs any reminder of the weight of expectations bearing down as he begins work, he can glance from a window of the presidential palace.
Citizens seeking jobs, compensation from the state or clemency for jailed relatives crowded at the palace gates on Sunday, showing how Mursi’s unprecedented popular mandate has raised hopes for a more responsive kind of government.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Mursi opened his first public address after his inauguration on Saturday with the words “God is greatest, above everyone” and pledged to keep the country on a democratic course after Hosni Mubarak’s fall.
He spoke at Cairo University to ordinary people, politicians and generals. He told the latter they were now free to take their troops back to barracks to focus on national security.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s first Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, was sworn in on Saturday, propelling his Muslim Brotherhood into power after 84 years of struggle, although the military remains determined to call the shots.
Immediately after swearing his oath, he said a civil, national, constitutional and modern state was “born today”.
CAIRO (Reuters) – An Egyptian court on Tuesday overturned a government decree allowing the army to arrest civilians, a setback for military rulers preparing to hand power to an elected president.
The army-backed interim government issued the decree days before a tense presidential run-off vote on June 16-17 to give soldiers the power to detain people during street disturbances.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptians were waiting on Sunday to hear whether their next president will be a former military officer or a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that ousted leader Hosni Mubarak spent three decades fighting.
The result of last weekend’s run-off, due in an election committee news conference at 3 p.m. (09.00 a.m. EDT), will be historic for the Middle East, but will not end power struggles between the army, Islamists and others over Egypt’s future.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Allegations of fraud delayed the result of Egypt’s presidential election on Thursday, fraying nerves as the Muslim Brotherhood, which claims victory, called for street protests against moves by the ruling generals to deny them power.
Hundreds of protesters gathered for a third day in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, cauldron of the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak 16 months ago, to demand that the officers who pushed him aside keep their word and hand over to civilians by July 1.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s generals have set political rules that could keep the army in power for years, one of their senior Islamist opponents warned on Wednesday, but the Muslim Brotherhood will not fight back in the way that plunged Algeria into bloody civil war.
Saad al-Katatni, speaker of the short-lived democratic parliament dissolved by the ruling military council last week, told Reuters that the opponents of army rule in Egypt had no weapons and only “legal and popular” means at their disposal.