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Egyptian Islamists Call for Rival Rally at Palace

Posted at: 12/05/2012 10:07 AM

CAIRO (AP) - The Egyptian president's Muslim Brotherhood has called on supporters to rally outside the presidential palace for a rival demonstration countering opponents of the Islamist leader.

Wednesday's rallying call sets up a potential clash between the two sides. About 300 opposition supporters are staging a sit-in outside the Itihadiya palace a day after tens of thousands surrounded the complex.

The opposition is seeking to build on momentum to press demands that President Mohammed Morsi rescind decrees giving him nearly unrestricted powers and shelve a disputed draft constitution.

The call for the rally has been posted on the official Facebook page of the Brotherhood's party, saying it's a bid to underscore Morsi's legitimacy as an elected leader.

Clinton: Egypt's unrest shows need for dialogue

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Egypt's unrest shows the urgent need for dialogue between President Mohammed Morsi's government and opposing voices on a constitutional path going forward.

Speaking at NATO, Clinton said the U.S. wants to see a constitution emerge that protects the rights of all Egyptians - men and women, and Christian and Muslim.

But asked to specifically address any shortcoming in the Islamist-supported draft constitution, Clinton didn't name any.

Rights groups as well as secular opponents of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood criticize the draft. They say it rolls back the rights of women, religious minorities and others.

Clinton said Wednesday the dialogue needed to be two-way - not the government imposing its view.

She also called for Egypt's courts to be allowed to function.

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