Egypt: No compromise?

According to The Washington Post Bernardino León, the European Union’s envoy for Egypt, suggested that it was believed that a deal for peaceful end to Egypt crisis was close.

Questions:

1. What you say that the deal was a real possibility?

2. Can it be still somehow resurrected by the outside pressure or the international community is also too divided on Egypt. And quite frankly, is anybody in Egypt right now interested in finding the solution?

Answers:

James M. DorseySenior Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University

1. The deal would have allowed for a compromise that would have also permitted all parties to save face. Whether or not the Brotherhood was serious about the deal, by accepting it to took the risk that the military would do the same. The military didn’t in the belief that it could if not destroy substantially weaken the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood after six weeks of sustained mass demonstrations and continued large protests after this week’s brutal and bloody crackdown has so far thwarted the military’s plan.

2. The current battle is about the future of the Brotherhood. Every day that it lasts is for the Brotherhood a victory. It is on the assumption that the Brotherhood survives also about the terms of a deal in which a Brotherhood that survives and forces the military to come to the table will be stronger than it was the day Morsi was ousted. The deal can be resurrected but not just yet. For that international pressure on the military will have to increase, which it will with every day that blood is shed. Also, the military’s popular base has to diminish which it will witness the resignation of Mohammed el Baradei as vice president in the military-appointed government, the stepping down of National Salvation Front (NSF) spokesman Khaled Daoud, and statements by the front, the main pro-military umbrella group, by Daoud’s successor which are far more critical of the military and the crackdown.

Abdullah Al-ArianAssistant Professor of History, Georgetown University

1. There was never a real possibility for a deal. That window closed the moment that the Egyptian military took sides in a civilian political dispute and overthrew and arrested the elected president. From that moment on July 3 and for the subsequent six weeks, it became increasingly clear that the coup leaders had already affirmed a total war strategy against the Islamist camp. They did not entertain a number of reasonable proposals put forward by third parties both inside and outside of Egypt. The counter-revolution that they have led cannot succeed as long as the window remains open for the return of the Muslim Brotherhood-or any independent political faction for that matter-in future democratic elections.

The reason the Egyptian military was comfortable taking this maximalist position and spurning the proposals by international powers, including the United States, stems from the lack of any serious consequences for its refusal to reconcile the political disputes in Egypt and take the country back onto the democratic track.

2. There is currently no viable way to bring this crisis to an end, given the military’s destructive behavior and the lack of international will to hold the coup leaders accountable for the massacre of many hundreds of civilians.

On the other end, the Muslim Brotherhood has previously demonstrated a desire to end this impasse, as seen through its agreement to an initiative by the European Union that would have resolved the crisis by restoring legitimacy to the political process and allowing Mohamed Morsi a legal exit from the presidency. At this stage, however, with its leaders imprisoned, besieged, or scattered, and its members and supporters suffering tremendous losses at the hands of the military’s increasingly brutal and indiscriminate crackdown, there is unlikely to be a desire on their part to reach an accommodation with the coup leaders. The counter-revolution is in full swing.

Elijah ZarwanSenior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations

1. Certainly with the benefit of hindsight it is clear hopes for a deal to avoid this bloodshed unfortunately were misplaced. I believed the dye was cast on June 30—and feared it was as early as December, when Brothers tortured protesters angry at Morsi’s arrogation of dictatorial super-powers to ram through the constitution. The only possible sane response is to try to prevent a predictable disaster before it unfolds. Any efforts toward that end were necessary, but their failure should not come as a surprise.

2. It’s very difficult to imagine a solution imposed from outside at this point, particularly given the lack of realistic leverage outside powers have over the parties to the conflict.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: