Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt talks


Egyptian anti-Mubarak protesters celebrate during a symbolic funeral for the President in Tahrir Square, Cairo (AP)

Representatives from a wide range of Egypt’s major opposition groups have met Vice President Omar Suleiman to discuss a blueprint for reforms to put the country on a path toward greater democracy.

The meeting is the broadest representation of Egypt’s fragmented opposition to meet with the new vice president since protests began on January 25.

The opposition groups represented included the supporters of leading democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei, who are one of the main forces behind nearly two weeks of mass protests demanding the immediate removal of long-time President Hosni Mubarak.

The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest opposition group, and a number of smaller leftist, liberal groups also attended the meeting.

Mubarak, Egypt’s ruler of nearly 30 years, has rejected calls to step down immediately and instead promised a package of unspecified political reforms – part of a series of concessions the regime has made in an unsuccessful bid to quell the protests.

Egypt’s state news agency reported the two sides agreed to set up a committee of members of the judiciary and political figures to study proposed constitutional amendments that deal with opening up the rules for who can run for president, and term limits on the presidency.

The committee was given until the first week of March to finish the tasks.

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