Egypt interim president Adly Mansour (C) and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy meet EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton
Picture made available by the Egyptian presidency on July 29, 2013, shows Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour (C) and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy (R) meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Cairo. Ashton held two hours of talks with Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi, in custody since shortly after the July 3 coup, her spokeswoman said Tuesday. © - Egyptian Presidency/AFP/File
Egypt interim president Adly Mansour (C) and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy meet EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton
AFP
Last updated: July 31, 2013

EU's Ashton holds two-hour meeting with Morsi

EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton who has just completed her second trip this month to Egypt is ready to return if she can help resolve the country's crisis, her spokesman said Wednesday.

"Ashton (is) willing to return to Egypt in order to help facilitate moves towards democratic transition," Michael Mann said in a tweeted message.

In the meantime, Bernardino Leon, European Union Special Representative for the region, will go back to Egypt at Ashton's request on Wednesday to continue working "with all sides on a way forward".

Leon's visit is the latest in "ongoing EU efforts to help facilitate a fully inclusive political process," Mann said.

The EU is "working in Egypt with wide-ranging support from both member states and other international partners," he added.

Ashton went to Cairo late Sunday, meeting senior officials, including the head of the armed forces which ousted president Mohamed Morsi on July 3 after mass protest against his Islamist rule.

She saw Morsi, who is held in detention at a secret location, and found him "well."

Ashton also repeated her calls for an agreed return to civilian rule in a process which would include all parties, Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood among them.

She returned to Brussels on Tuesday.

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