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Egypt: New constitution ordered as Mursi supporters rally - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shouts slogans in front of barbed wire near Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo July 19, 2013.  (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shouts slogans in front of barbed wire near the Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, a suburb of Cairo, on July 19, 2013. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi gathered in eastern Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawaiya Square on Saturday in their tens of thousands, renewing call for his reinstatement. This comes as part of an on-going sit-in that has been staged in front of the Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque since Mursi’s removal from power.

Crowds backing Mursi’s ouster and the Egyptian military’s intervention also gathered in Tahrir Square, but in far smaller numbers.

Egyptian media reported that at least two people were killed during clashes in the Nile Delta city of Mansura on Saturday, bringing the total death toll across the country following Mursi’s ouster to at least 101.

Islamists joined Mursi’s supporters in Rabaa Al-Adawaiya Square as Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, issued a presidential decree ordering a committee of legal experts to begin working on Sunday to amend the country’s suspended constitution.

The controversial constitution drafted last year by an Islamist-dominated committee was suspended on July 3 following the military’s intervention.

According to the decree issued following Mursi’s ouster, the drafting of a revised constitution will precede parliamentary elections, which in turn will be followed by a new presidential vote.

A committee of 10 legal experts is set to meet tomorrow and will have just 15 days to make proposals to a broader body, which will have a further 60 days to deliver a final draft of a constitution.

In his first public statement, Egypt’s new foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy, stressed that Cairo has no intention of waging jihad against Syria and will “re-examine” diplomatic ties with the country.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Egypt’s newly installed foreign minister stressed that Cairo supports the Syrian people’s legitimate desire for freedom but will not pursue jihad against the Assad government.

This comes after the former Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government of Mohamed Mursi supported a call by some Sunni clerics for a jihad against Bashar Al-Assad’s Alawite regime.

On June 15, Mursi announced that Egypt was severing its diplomatic ties with Damascus. Following this decision, Egypt closed its embassy in the Syrian capital and shut down the Syrian diplomatic mission in Cairo.

Fahmy said that Egypt’s new government, headed by president Adly Mansour, will “re-examine” the decision to cut full diplomatic ties with Syria. However, he warned that this “doesn’t mean they will resume or not resume.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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