Morsi Calls for Dialogue, Keeps His Powers

He wants talks with opposition leaders on Saturday

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 6, 2012 4:07 PM CST

(Newser) – Egyptian leader Mohamed Morsi went on state TV today and suggested talks with opposition leaders on Saturday, reports the BBC. Morsi also expressed sorrow over the deaths of protesters, but said he would not tolerate anyone trying to overthrow his "legitimate government." Nor did he rescind any of the extra powers he recently assumed, as opponents have demanded. Al-Jazeera sums it up as "a few half-measures and no meaningful concessions to an increasingly angry opposition."

It's not clear yet whether the speech will ease the protests, and news coverage seems to be of two minds on the tone:

  • Wall Street Journal: "Egypt's leader made a tentative concession to his opponents, inviting them to join a national dialogue on Saturday ..."
  • AP: "Morsi offered nothing concrete to defuse the country's worst political crisis in nearly two years in a nationally televised speech ..."

In this image made from video, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi delivers a televised statement in Cairo Thursday.
In this image made from video, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi delivers a televised statement in Cairo Thursday.   (AP Photo/Nile TV)
Anti-government protesters chant slogans outside the presidential palace in Cairo Thursday.
Anti-government protesters chant slogans outside the presidential palace in Cairo Thursday.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Anti-government protesters chant slogans outside the presidential palace in Cairo Thursday.
Anti-government protesters chant slogans outside the presidential palace in Cairo Thursday.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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