EU walks in for mediation in Egypt
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The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton has ended a 2-day visit to Cairo during which she met with a number of interim officials and key political figures including the deposed president Mohamed Morsi who is currently held in an undisclosed location. During a press conference, Ashton said that Morsi was doing well and that he was allowed to watch television and read papers. Ashton is the first international diplomat allowed to meet with Morsi since the Military removed him from power and placed the head of the constitutional court as Egypt's Interim President. The European official's visit comes amidst renewed protests by Morsi supporters after deadly clashes with security forces left over 80 dead. Morsi Supporters say police forces opened fire on peaceful protesters close to one of the sit-ins they have been holding in Cairo since Morsi's ouster on July 3rd. His supporters have been protesting against the military coup and calling for the release of Morsi and his reinstatement. Catherine Ashton is seen in Egypt as one of the few international diplomats to be accepted by both sides after both opposing camps criticized the United States' position on the recent events in Egypt. Ashton is said be leading mediation efforts between the Muslim Brotherhood and other sides. She's met with a delegation from the Brotherhood in addition to the Egypt's Defense Minister General Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. Egypt's interim vice-president and key liberal figure Mohamed ElBaradei, also appeared before reporters during the press conference saying that the Muslim Brotherhood should be part of the new political "road map" . Morsi has been held in jail since July 3rd but his detention got formal only last week pending investigations into charges related to his escape from a prison during the 2011 revolution. There are strong fears of further clashes and bloodshed in Egypt as the situation on the ground remains complicated and no direct talks between the Muslim Brotherhood and the interim government have been initiated.