Egypt's army and government will offer to free some Muslim Brotherhood members from jail, unfreeze the group's assets and give it three ministerial posts in a bid to end the country's political crisis, a senior military source said on Monday.
"The initiative will be made so that we can end the crisis and have the Brotherhood end their sit-ins," the military source told Reuters. A political source familiar with the proposal confirmed the details.
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Earlier Monday, a top US diplomat held talks with a jailed senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood as part of mediation efforts to end the standoff between Egypt's military-backed government and protesters supporting ousted President Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian officials said.
El-Shater was among a host of prominent Islamists arrested by authorities after the army ousted Morsi, a longtime Brotherhood member, on July 3. He has been charged with complicity in the killing of anti-Morsi protesters during the four days of protests that led up to the military coup.
Also Monday, senior US senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham arrived in Cairo at President Barack Obama's request to press for a quick return to civilian rule.
Meanwhile several thousand Islamist supporters marched through downtown Cairo calling for Morsi's reinstatement and denouncing the army general who led his overthrow.
Some 250 people have been killed in violence since Morsi's ouster, including at least 130 in two major clashes between security forces and supporters of the deposed president on July 8 and again on July 26 and early the next day.
Violence on hold
The international mediation effort has so far helped to contain further violent confrontation between Morsi's backers and the security forces but has yet to broker a solution.
During Monday's march, protesters sprayed graffiti on walls and statues calling army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led Morsi's overthrow, a murderer and a traitor.
The protesters, nearly all men, marched 10 abreast and stretched back several blocks. Security forces made no attempt to disperse a crowd estimated by reporters at several thousand strong.
The military has laid out a plan that could see a new head of state elected in roughly nine months. The Brotherhood, an Islamist movement that spent decades in the shadows before Mubarak's downfall, says it wants nothing to do with it.
However, diplomats say the Brotherhood knows Morsi will not return as president and wants a face-saving formula for him to step down that guarantees it a stake in the political future.
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