Egypt's Islamist president fired the first volley Sunday in his battle with the nation's powerful generals, calling on the Islamist-dominated parliament to reconvene despite a military-backed court ruling that dissolved it.
A week into his presidency, the surprise move by Mohammed Morsi threatened to plunge the country into a new bout of instability and violence, nearly 17 months after the ouster of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak, informs Boston.com.
"President Obama extended an invitation to President Mursi to visit the United States when he attends the U.N. General Assembly in September," Egyptian aide Yasser Ali said after Mursi met U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns in Cairo. Burns, who did not mention the invitation at a news conference earlier, pledged U.S. support for Egypt's battered economy and said he welcomed Mursi's promise to uphold international treaties, which include a peace deal with Israel.
"We have taken careful note and appreciated President Mursi's public statements about a commitment to international obligations and we certainly attach great importance to Egypt's continuing role as a force for peace," Burns said, reports defenceWeb.
The Supreme Constitutional Court ordered the lower house of parliament dissolved on June 14 after finding fault with the election process. The generals implemented the decision two days later and then issued a decree outlining presidential powers on June 17, even before presidential election votes were counted.
The Brotherhood has filed a legal suit in another court challenging the ruling to dissolve parliament, arguing such a decision should only be taken with popular consent, says Arab Times Kuwait English Daily.
Morsi is a conservative Islamist and a longtime member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful political group. The fundamentalist group won nearly half of parliament's seats when elections were held some seven months ago.
The dissolution of parliament came as a severe blow to the Brotherhood, which has dreamt of political power for most of the 84 years since its inception. Its imminent clash with the military evokes memories of the 1950s and 1960s when the government at the time jailed the group's leaders along with hundreds of its supporters, according to StarPhoenix.