News ID: 130297
Published: 0712 GMT November 04, 2015

Sisi: Muslim Brotherhood can play role in Egypt

Sisi: Muslim Brotherhood can play role in Egypt

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi suggested the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood could again play a role in public life if Egyptians would welcome that, ahead of a visit to Britain criticized by rights campaigners.

Sisi, who launched the toughest crackdown on supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi, would meet British Prime Minister David Cameron, Reuters reported.

The visit has drawn criticism from campaigners and some politicians, with the leader of Britain's main opposition party saying it showed "contempt for human and democratic rights" and activists urging Cameron to press Sisi on human rights.

In an interview with the BBC, Sisi signaled a possible softening of position toward the Muslim Brotherhood, which he has declared to be a terrorist group.

"The problem doesn't lie with the government and it doesn't lie with me. It lies with public opinion, with Egyptians. Egyptians are peaceful people and they don't like violence. They reacted against the Muslim Brotherhood and are wary of them," Sisi said in the TV interview, due to be broadcast in full today.

"This country is big enough to accommodate all of us. They are part of Egypt and so the Egyptian people must decide what role they can play."

The Brotherhood, the long Egypt's main political opposition, says it is committed to peaceful activism designed to reverse what it calls a military coup, when Sisi seized power from Morsi in 2013.

Security forces killed hundreds of Morsi supporters at street protests and thousands of others were arrested.

Senior Brotherhood leaders have been sentenced to death in what human rights groups call unfair trials.

Sisi has said tough security measures were needed to protect Egypt from what he describes as attacks by terrorists. ISIL's Egypt affiliate has killed hundreds of soldiers and police since Morsi's ouster.



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