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Mursi olive branch merely steels Egypt protesters' resolve

Mursi olive branch merely steels Egypt protesters' resolve
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There is little sign that the Egyptian president’s olive branch offered to opponents has done anything to appease his critics, ahead of mass protests planned this weekend to call for his resignation.

In a speech lasting well over two hours, Mohammed Mursi defiantly defended his record, slamming those he called “enemies” and accusing them of undermining democracy.

He also invited rival leaders to preliminary talks over paving the way towards amending the constitution.

But in Cairo’s Tahrir Square anti-Mursi demonstrators were unimpressed.

“The speech was supposed to calm the people, not to put them against one another. Egyptians don’t have to kill each other,” said one young man.

“He (Mursi) is not living with us on this planet. He is living on another planet like Jupiter or Mars. He does not relate to the people who came out to protest at all. This guy is living on the Muslim Brotherhood’s planet,” added another.

Neither Mursi’s acknowledgement of unspecified “errors”, nor his promise of reforms to help the young, nor his offer of dialogue seem to have dented his opponents’ resolve.

It is claimed that up to 15 million people have signed a petition calling for the president to go.