Egypt talks fail, reform promises doubted

Egypt protestorBy Nangayi Guyson – “Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has come under fresh pressure after talks between the opposition groups on tackling the country’s political crisis failed to end protests in central Cairo”Egyptian state TV said .

Crowds of protesters, who have occupied the city’s Tahrir Square for two weeks, say they will only leave when President Hosni Mubarak stands down immediately. Opposition groups met members of the government on Sunday to discuss how to resolve the stand-off which has paralyzed the country and left some 300 people dead.

But the Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has cast doubt on the government’s willingness to follow through on promised reforms. One of the group’s leaders told Al Jazeera that the Muslim Brotherhood does not trust the government to make its proposed changes and that they would only take part in future talks if the government made progress on meeting its demands that Mr Mubarak resign, parliament be resolved, emergency laws lifted and all political prisoners released.

Senior Brotherhood figure Essam el-Erian told reporters the authorities had responded to some of the demands but only in “a superficial way.”

The talks were hosted  by Vice-President Omar Suleiman and Six groups were represented, including a coalition of youth organisations, a group of “wise men” and the banned Muslim Brotherhood in its first ever meeting with the government.

President Mubarak who has ruled the country for 30 years has refused to resign, saying that to do so would cause chaos. He has instead said he will not stand for re-election in September.

But US President Barack Obama has insisted that an “orderly transition” must begin immediately.