Islamists are no-show at first reconciliation session

Interim President Adly Mansour has begun the first national reconciliation session without the attendance of Islamist groups or Al-Azhar officials.

Most political forces joined the meeting, while Islamists – including the Muslim Brotherhood – and Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb were nowhere to be seen.

Muslim Brotherhood figures, including former Local Development Minister Mohamed Ali Beshr and former International Cooperation Minister Amr Derag were invited, but did not come, according to presidential sources.

Nour, Watan and Strong Egypt party officials all sent their apologies for non-attendance.

Democratic Egyptian Party Chief Mohamed Abul Ghar expressed his rejection of dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Reconciliation will not take place without law being applied on everyone," Abul Ghar claimed, "especially those with blood on their hands and who have incited violence.”

Brotherhood spokesperson Ahmed Aref said: “We will not have dialogue with a usurping power that performed a coup against legal and constitutional legitimacy.”

Jama’a al-Islamiya’s Construction and Development Party media adviser Khaled al-Sherif also declined to attend dialogue with an "illegitimate power."

Shaaban Abdel Aleem, deputy secretary general of Nour Party, said his party is maintaining communications with all sides in the interests of national reconciliation.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm