Egypt Politicians Condemn Violence In Al-Azhar Meeting

Leaders from prominent Egyptian political factions have met in the country's highest seat of Islamic learning to sign an agreement condemning violence.
The meeting at the al-Azhar mosque was attended by President Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and by opposition figures.

Opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei said after the meeting that he was "optimistic".

Nearly 60 people have been killed in Egypt in unrest in the past week.

The politicians, along with activist groups and leaders from Egypt's Coptic Christian Church, were invited to the talks by Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayyib, grand imam of al-Azhar.

The past week has seen the worst violence since President Mohammed Morsi won the presidency in June. The unrest began in Cairo on the eve of last Friday's second anniversary of the 2011 revolution and has spread to several cities.

The worst of the violence has been in the Suez Canal city of Port Said, in protests sparked by death sentences handed down to 21 local people accused of participating in football riots.

A curfew Mr Morsi imposed in Port Said and the cities of Suez and Ismailiya was widely ignored, with tens of thousands of residents taking to the streets. The curfew was relaxed on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Egyptian army chief Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi warned that the political crisis could lead to the collapse of the state.
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