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Al-Qaeda chief 'accuses US of plotting to oust Morsi'

Eqypt-born Ayman al-Zawahiri merged the Egyptian Islamic Jihad with al Qaeda in the 1990s. Credit: Reuters

The head of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri has reportedly issued an audio message in which he accuses the United States of plotting the overthrow of Egypt's first Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

CNN reported the 14-minute message, the apparent first to address Mr Morsi's ousting last month, was posted to Jihadist forums yesterday.

Al-Zawahiri is quoted as saying: "The crusaders, the seculars, the Americanised army, (former President Hosni) Mubarak's thugs and some members of Islamic parties with the support of Gulf money and American plotting, all agreed to topple Mohamed Morsi's government."

Hague urges Egypt to release former president Morsi

Foreign Secretary William Hague says Egypt's political parties need to communicate with each other. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Foreign Secretary William Hague has made a direct appeal to the Egyptian authorities to release ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

In a phone call with Egyptian vice president for foreign affairs, Mr Hague stressed the need for dialogue and reconciliation between all political parties including Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.

The Foreign Secretary also condemned the excessive use of force by security services as well as attacks against them.

Mr Hague said: "We want to see a peaceful resolution that will bring an urgent end to the current bloodshed. In my view, this should involve a process of dialogue and reconciliation between all political parties in Egypt, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

"I also called for the release of all political detainees, including President Morsi, unless there are criminal charges to be made against them, and emphasised that it is vital that any charges are not politically motivated."

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Baroness Ashton: Ousted Egyptian president is 'well'

Baroness Ashton at a news conference yesterday Credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The European Union's foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton has said deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi was "well" and had access to television and newspapers when she visited him.

She spoke to journalists after meeting Mr Mursi at an undisclosed location last night.

EU foreign policy chief holds talks with Morsi

European Union foreign policy chief Cathy Ashton has met ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and held two hours of "in depth" discussions with him, her spokeswoman, Maja Kocijancic, said.

Pro-Morsi supporters march towards army HQ

Supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi marched towards security headquarters in Cairo on Monday night, raising fears of new clashes as the EU's foreign policy chief met local officials, according to the Agence France Presse agency.

Supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi walk during an anti-army rally that started from a sit-in. Credit: Reuters/Asmaa Waguih

The marches came despite a warning from the National Defence Council late Sunday that it would take "decisive and firm action" against demonstrators if they went beyond their right to peaceful protest.

Pro-Morsi supporters chant slogans in a main street during an anti-army rally. Credit: Reuters/Asmaa Waguih

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PM: al-Qaeda tried to get chemical weapons for Syria

The Prime Minister says elements within al-Qaeda have tried to obtain chemical weapons for use in Syria.

David Cameron says the Syrian regime probably approved use of chemical weapons on 19th March and 13th April.

He says he chose his words carefully on intelligence about al-Qaeda and chemical weapons, given what had happened in the past.

Hague 'strongly condemns' attacks in Somalia

Foreign Secretary William Hague said he "strongly condemns" the terrorist attacks that took place in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, killing at least 19 people.

Mr Hague said in a statement, “We extend our deepest sympathy to the victims and their families. Somalia is emerging from decades of conflict. The actions of terrorists only prolong the suffering of the Somali people".

Somali policemen take up position near the scene of a deadly blast in Mogadishu. Credit: REUTERS/Feisal Omar

“The UK and the international community, as we saw at last week’s G8 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, remain committed to helping the people of Somalia achieve peace, security and development", he continued.

"Those responsible for terrorist acts should face justice”, Mr Hague added.

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