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Captive Morsi is ‘doing well’,EU envoy Ashton says after meeting

Egypt's rulers allowed an EU envoy to meet deposed President Mohammed Morsi,the first time an outsider was given access to him since the army overthrew him and jailed him a month ago,and she said she found him in good health.

Written by Reuters | Cairo | Published: July 31, 2013 12:48 am

Egypt’s rulers allowed an EU envoy to meet deposed President Mohammed Morsi,the first time an outsider was given access to him since the army overthrew him and jailed him a month ago,and she said she found him in good health.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton revealed little about what she called a “friendly,open and very frank” two-hour conversation with Morsi,after she was flown to an undisclosed location to visit him.

“I’ve tried to make sure his family know he is well,” said Ashton,who emerged as one of the only figures accepted by both sides as a potential mediator in a conflict that has plunged the most populous Arab state into violent confrontation.

Ashton said Morsi had access to television and was informed about the situation in the country.

Media have speculated about why the military-backed rulers would have allowed her to meet the ousted leader who had been kept incommunicado for a month.

She denied that she carried an offer to Morsi,who faces charges including murder,of “safe exit” if he were to renounce his claim to the presidency.

Ashton also added,“I also told him in my two hour conversation that I was not going to represent his views because in the circumstances he cannot correct me if I do it wrongly,” she said.

Meeting Morsi was a condition of Ashton’s offer to visit Egypt,where she also met with the general who removed him and other top leaders on her second trip in 12 days.

Meanwhile,French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called for Morsi to be released. Washington and other Western capitals have made similar calls. “France calls for the rejection of violence and for the release of political prisoners including former president Morsi,” Fabius said.

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