CAIRO: European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton yesterday called for an “inclusive” approach to solve the political turmoil in Egypt triggered by the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Mursi.
Ashton, who wrapped up a two-day visit to Cairo, held meetings with top officials including army chief General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi that focussed on Egypt’s political situation.
“We talked about the importance of this inclusive process,” she told reporters at the end of her third visit to Egypt since the army ousted Mursi three months ago.
“In terms of inclusiveness it means trying to involve everyone, that also means reaching out to each other,” she said, suggesting the Muslim Brotherhood to which Mursi belongs also be involved in the nation’s future.
Mursi has been detained since the military ousted him on July 3 following a turbulent single year in office.
Yesterday, the government published a list of fruit and vegetable prices in a bid to keep consumer expenses down, warning it would eventually crack down on merchants if they did not adhere.
Consumers have complained of a rapid increase in produce prices over the last few months.
The government listed common fruit and vegetables, including tomatoes that it said should sell at 1.50 to 2.00 Egyptian pounds per kg ($0.22-$0.29) and potatoes, at 4.75 to 5.50 pounds.
Those were both roughly a pound less than current prices in some markets.
The ministry of supply said the prices were guidelines and would be issued once a week.
“If merchants don’t adhere, the government will resort to imposing mandatory pricing,” the cabinet said in a statement.
The ministry said it would also work to lower prices by increasing the amounts of produce available in state-run cooperatives and ministry of agriculture outlets and by sending lorries to deliver fruit and vegetables to poorer neighbourhoods.
Supply Minister Mohamed Abu Shadi said he had set up two hotlines for citizens wanting to complain of price violations.