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Catherine Ashton meeting with interim Egyptian president Adly Mansour on Wednesday.

Following a 45-minute meeting on Wednesday between Muslim Brotherhood representatives, and European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, senior Brotherhood official Amr Darrag told Reuters that Ashton did not offer a solution that could resolve the current crisis.

Ashton told state news agency MENA: “My message was clear that the European Union largely supports the Egyptian people and would like Egypt to see a smooth transition to democracy.”


She forgot to mention that the EU also believes in puppies and ponies for every Egyptian birthday, which would have been about as brave, under the circumstances.

Ex-prime minister Hisham Qandil and Brotherhood former minister under Morsi Mohamed Ali Bishr attended the meeting with Ashton, along with Darrag. They told her they rejected as “illegitimate” the military’s plan to restore democracy while dumping their own 2012 presidential victory. They insisted they would not participate in any negotiations until President Morsi.

‘Rebel’ campaign co-founders Mahmoud Badr and Mohamed Abdel-Aziz declined to comment after their own meeting with Ashton.

Ashton said she would like to meet Morsi—who has been imprisooned by the military— during her visit to Cairo.

“I have received confirmation that he is well. I believe he should be released,” she told reporters.

The EU would like very much to broker a deal between Egypt’s rival political forces—it needs to look significant someplace, for heaven’s sake—but its proposed measures were turned down by Morsi, according to Reuters.