The European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton starts a three-day visit to Cairo today, where she will meet with officials, political parties and members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
A European Union source told independent daily Youm7 that during her meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, Ashton will discuss bilateral issues affecting Egypt and the European Union and ways that the EU can contribute to building a mechanism for dialogue between the opposition and the ruling regime.
State daily Al-Ahram reports that according to a high-level source, the trip forms part of diplomatic dialogue but that “it won’t change anything in reality” because “it is Egyptians who will chart Egypt’s course.”
The source also told Al-Ahram that there have been requests by foreign officials to visit individuals currently in detention, but these were rejected because “we will not accept interference in Egyptian affairs.”
During her visit Ashton will also meet Amr Moussa, head of the committee currently drafting amendments to the Constitution, interim President Adly Mansour, Defense Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi, Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa Eddin, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyeb and Pope Tawadros.
Ashton will also meet Muslim Brotherhood members Amr Darrag and Mohamed Ali Bishr and a Nour Party delegation headed by party head Younes Makhyoun.