Nation & World News

Egypt’s Ousted President Morsi Is ‘Well,’ Says EU Official

By Bill Chappell on July 31st, 2013

After a long talk with ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton says Morsi, who has been detained for nearly a month, is in good health.

“We talked for two hours; we talked in-depth. He has access to information, in terms of TV, newspapers — so, we were able to talk about the situation,” Ashton tells the BBC. “And we were able to talk about the need to move forward.”

But Ashton says she does not know where Morsi, who was taken into custody after Egypt’s military declared an end to his tenure July 3, is being held. She was taken to see him at night, in a trip that included a helicopter and other vehicles.

“He had been told about half an hour before I arrived that I was coming. He was, I think, pleased to see me,” Ashton says. “He is there with two advisers. They are there together. It is a military place. The people around him do care for him. I looked at the facilities.”

In the weeks since Morsi’s ouster, scores of Egyptians have died and hundreds more have been injured in clashes involving his supporters, his opponents and the police.

The pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood, which has demanded the former leader’s return to power, is calling for new demonstrations Tuesday.

As NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reported Monday, Egypt’s military-backed interim government has warned that soldiers will arrest civilians who stage disruptive protests in support of Morsi.

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