CAIRO — Islamist President-elect Mohamed Mursi Wednesday began talks with groups nervous about where he will take Egypt after the ruling generals make way for the republic’s first civilian leader.
Among Mursi’s first visitors as president may be US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Cairo airport officials said they had been told she would start a two-day trip to Egypt Saturday. A US embassy official said he could not confirm it.
Clinton, who has already congratulated Mursi on his election win, sidestepped a question on plans to go to Cairo during a news conference in Helsinki.
However, she encouraged Mursi to bring diverse groups into his government, mentioning Coptic Christians, secular-minded Egyptians and young people.
Mursi, 60, a US-trained engineer and Muslim Brotherhood insider, is expect to take his oath Saturday, but it is uncertain where he will do so.
Parliament is the normal venue, but the constitutional court dissolved the Islamist-led lower house this month in a clear attempt to roll back the Brotherhood’s electoral successes since Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow 16 months ago.
Mursi’s own authority has already been circumscribed by the military, which has long viewed the Brotherhood as a peril to Egypt’s secular establishment and must now cohabit with a man it fears will seek to erode its entrenched power and privilege. Mursi, who has promised an inclusive government, sat down with some minority Christian leaders in the first of several meetings that will involve political parties and youth groups active in the anti-Mubarak revolt, said Yasser Ali, spokesman to the president-elect.Mursi to sue Fars
Mursi’s will file a lawsuit against the Iranian news agency Fars for making up an interview with him which said he promised to improve ties between the two countries. “President Mursi was never interviewed by Iran’s Fars news agency. The interview was fabricated and his presidential office has begun taking legal action against the news agency,” Yasser Ali told Reuters.
Iran has hailed Mursi’s victory in Egypt’s first free presidential election as a “splendid vision of democracy” that marked the country’s “Islamic awakening”. — Agencies