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U.S. Official Visits Senior Egyptian Islamist In Jail

Piles of pavement stones block the street near Rabia al-Adawiya Mosque, which has become the main protest site of the supporters of deposed Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi, in Cairo.
A senior U.S. diplomat has reportedly met with a jailed senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Media reports citing unnamed officials say U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met in prison on August 5 with Khairat el-Shater, the deputy head of the Brotherhood.

El-Shater is charged with complicity in the killing of protesters against deposed President Muhammad Morsi.

Burns was accompanied by the foreign ministers of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as well as an EU envoy.

The diplomats are seeking to help end the standoff between Egypt's military-backed government and protesters supporting the ousted Islamist president.

Also on August 5, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are expected to arrive in Egypt for talks with the military government and opposition groups.

The government says it will give international mediation a chance to resolve the crisis brought about by Morsi's ouster.

But the interim government said earlier on August 5 that time was limited as Islamist sit-in protests continued in Cairo.

Meanwhile, a Cairo court said the leader of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and two other top officials will face trial in three weeks.

They are charged with incitement to murder during protests in the days before Morsi was toppled by the military on July 3.

The trial could complicate efforts by international envoys and Egyptian factions to launch a political process and encourage national reconciliation.

Based on reporting by AP, dpa, Reuters, MENA, and AFP