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Egypt's rivals meet but little accomplished

  • January 31, 2013 - 8:14 PM

CAIRO - With Egypt's political elites warring and street violence taking on a life of its own, young revolutionaries tried to step into the country's leadership vacuum Thursday, organizing a rare meeting of political forces that, in Egypt's polarized state, was a victory in itself.

The meeting, which included representatives of secular leftist and liberal groups as well as the Muslim Brotherhood, failed, however, to resolve some of the most divisive issues facing the country, including whether President Mohammed Morsi would agree to form a national unity government or amend the country's newly approved constitution.

Nor was there any assurance that the meeting's principal call -- to end the violence that has led to more than 50 deaths over the past week -- would be heeded on the streets. Clashes during protests have become the latest polarizing issue in Egypt's turbulent transition, with Morsi and members of his Muslim Brotherhood movement blaming shadowy instigators. Others, though, have faulted the poorly trained security forces for a heavy-handed response to protests.

NEW YORK TIMES

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