The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, has seen Mohamed Morsi, the former President of Egypt in detention.
The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi was removed from power by the military at the beginning of July despite having assumed his position following a successful election. Growing unrest and protests on the street had placed pressure on the new government which had struggled to develop consensus and stability in Egyptian politics.
The Muslim Brotherhood saw the removal as a military coup and declared the move an attack on democracy. Many of the group have since been arrested and the whereabouts and well-being of Mohamed Morsi have become an international cause for concern. Morsi’s condition is considered a litmus test of the Egyptian leadership’s commitment to rule of law and democracy.
Catherine Ashton said of her interview with the deposed leader:
“I saw Mohamed Morsi last night. He’s well and we had a friendly and open and very frank discussion for the 2 hours I saw him. I saw where he was, I don’t know where he is but I saw the facilities he has, and we had a long discussion. You know I met with him many times before. I sent him good wishes from people here and he asked me to pass on wishes back, and of course I tried to make sure that his family know that he’s well.”
It is unclear whether Ms Ashton met Mr Morsi in person or via video link. Ms Ashton has previously called for the release of all political detainees and the inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood in a broad-based political solution.