Conflicting reports surrounding whether or not Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi’s visit to the U.S. this month will go ahead as planned have arisen Wednesday morning.
News on microblogging site Twitter circulated that Mursi’s visit was postponed until early next year, sparking speculation that the reported decision may be tied to recent anti-government unrest in Egypt.
Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl tweeted on Wednesday night: “Fascinating meeting with Muslim Brotherhood [sic] delegation in DC led by Essam El Haddad. Mursi White House visit put off from Dec. 17 until February.”
Similarly, Egyptian journalist and former head of Egyptian Television’s news center, Abdel Latif El-Menawy, tweeted: “Sources: The White House informs Mursi of delaying his visit till February or March.”
This however conflicted with what presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali said on Tuesday, denying reports that Mursi’s visits abroad were changed because the countries he is visiting object to the constitutional declaration, Egypt Independent reported.
“We did not receive any official remarks on the declaration from the United States or the European Union,” Ali said in a statement, calling on the media to be accurate in covering news.
In September, Ali said Mursi received an official invitation from the United States to visit Washington in December.
Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency said Mursi is visiting Washington after he participates in the celebrations of the second anniversary of the Tunisian revolution at the invitation of Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki on 17 December.
If the trip goes ahead as planned, Mursi is going to Washington just two days after the referendum on the new constitution on Dec. 15, which opposition political forces reject.
The United States has called on anti-Mursi protesters and the government in Egypt to show “restraint.” The State Department spokesman Mark Toner was quoted as saying that the White House was also following the situation closely.
“We would simply urge that protesters express their views peacefully and that they be given the environment, if you will, to protest peacefully,” AFP reported Toner as saying.