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US, EU concerned over Egyptian stalemate


Washington: The US and the European Union (EU) have expressed concern over the "dangerous stalemate" in Egypt, as the country's interim president announced foreign mediation efforts have failed.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton lamented the "limits" of their role, after envoys from the two sides -- Qatar and the United Arab Emirates -- failed in their 10-day efforts to diffuse the Egyptian crisis ensuing from the military's ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi July 3.

"Today, the diplomatic efforts ended," Egypt's interim President Adly Mansur said Wednesday in a statement.

In late July, Ashton had travelled to Egypt and met Morsi who remained in detention. US Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham joined William Burns, Kerry's deputy, in the mediation efforts.

"While further violent confrontations have thus far been avoided, we remain concerned and troubled that government and opposition leaders have not yet found a way to break a dangerous stalemate and agree to implement tangible confidence-building measures," Kerry and Ashton said in a joint statement.

"The Egyptian government bears a special responsibility to begin this process to ensure the safety and welfare of its citizens," they added.

Nearly 300 people have been killed in violence since Morsi's removal, and his Islamist supporters are still encamped in two squares in Cairo -- Rabaa al-Adaweya in Nasr City and Nahdet Misr in Giza, demanding his reinstatement.

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