With myriad reports in the media indicating, conflictingly, that the Egyptian talks with the opposition are either moving toward total agreement or are teeting on the brink of collapse, the question of whether we are really nearing an end-game in Egypt continues, as well as the question of what that will look like.
Newly crowned Vice President Omar Suleiman, who many see as the heir apparent to Mubarak, has been courting the opposition with promises of dramatic changes, including the possible end to the “state of emergency” at some unspecified future date. This seems to have pleased a lot of Western officials who have sought some nominal reform to appease the uprising.
But is it appeasing the protesters? It depends who you believe. Some reports have key opposition figures pretty close to agreeing with Suleiman (and marveling that the public protests continue).
US pundits and former officials were treating the talks as a virtual fait accompli on the Sunday talk show circuit, speculating more than anything about when the protests would collapse and how Mubarak could repair his reputation.
Still, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is taking part in these talks with the apparent blessing of the US government, insisted today that the Egyptian government had not been negotiating in good faith so far and reiterating the demands for serious reform.
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