Wigan peace maker is on Morsi mission

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, right, meets with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, right, meets with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton
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A WIGAN-born diplomat has been plunged into the Egyptian crisis as a top peace maker.

Baroness Cathy Ashton of UpHolland - who is the European Union’s foreign policy chief - became the first Western politician to speak with ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi.

She spent three hours in talks with the former president at an as yet undisclosed location.

She later reported that President Mohammed Morsi was “well” and had access to news broadcasts which he was following carefully.

Speaking from Cairo, she described their talks as “friendly, open and very frank”.

Baroness Ashton held two hours of talks with Mr Morsi in the early hours of Tuesday.

But she declined to say where Mr Morsi was being held or to “characterise” the comments he had made to her after the “in depth” dialogue.

Baroness Ashton arrived in Cairo on Sunday night for an intensive schedule of meetings with Egyptian government officials and opposition representatives.

This meeting was Mr Morsi’s first appearance on the international stage since he was deposed following the military’s dissolving of the Egyptian parliament and claiming of legislative powers last month.

It is her second trip to the troubled Middle Eastern country this month as she works to ease political tensions.

On her first visit, which began on July 17, she met with acting president Adly Mansour as well as representatives of the Freedom and Justice Party.

But this second trip had the single purpose of meeting with President Morsi.