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Opposition rejects Morsi's invitation for dialogue, calls for massive protests

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Egyptian protestors clash with riot police during a demonstration near Cairo’s Tahrir Square on January 28, 2013.

Egypt’s main opposition group, the National Salvation Front (NSF) has rejected an invitation by President Mohamed Morsi for talks, calling for massive protests on Friday.

“We will not participate in dialogue that is empty of content,” leading dissident Mohamed ElBaradei said on Monday following a meeting of the NSF which included mainly liberal and leftist movements.

Opposition leaders say the president’s proposal is not genuine. They say they will attend future talks only if a list of conditions is met.

The opposition leaders also call for nationwide protests to be held on Friday to achieve what they describe as the goals of the revolution.

This comes after Morsi called for talks to resolve the political crisis and to end the violence that had claimed dozens of lives. The opposition announced earlier they would welcome a national dialogue to end the unrest.

Earlier in the day, at least one person was killed in new clashes between Egyptian protesters and police forces near the iconic Tahrir (Liberation) Square in the capital Cairo.

On Sunday, President Mohamed Morsi declared a state of emergency in Port Said, Suez, and Ismailia following deadly clashes in the cities.

On the same day, as many as seven people were killed and over 460 others injured in clashes between protesters and police in the eastern Egyptian city of Port Said.

Sunday’s deaths occurred during a mass funeral procession held for 37 people who were killed in clashes a day earlier, and when rioters exchanged gunfire with policemen at three police stations and outside Port Said’s main prison.

The Saturday deadly chaos erupted when a court issued death sentences for 21 people for their role in a massacre following a football match in Port Said last year that led to the death of 74 people.

On Friday, nine people were killed by gunfire during clashes between police and protesters in Suez on the second anniversary of the revolution that toppled former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Thousands of Egyptians staged demonstrations in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Port Said, and many other cities and towns to call on Morsi, who took office in June 2012, to fulfill his election promises.

The Egyptians launched the revolution against the pro-Israeli regime on January 25, 2011, which eventually brought an end to Mubarak’s 30-year-long dictatorship on February 11, 2011.


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