When Congress comes back in September,
the people should come to Washington
and flood the capital[sic]
with a sea of protest.
HAVE A GREAT EVENING!
Vote on draft Constitution Saturday.
By NBC News staff and wire reports.
Updated at 7 p.m. ET: CAIRO — President Mohamed Morsi on Thursday invited political groups and legal figures to meet for a national dialogue on solutions to Egypt’s political crisis after clashes between his supporters and his foes left seven dead and hundreds wounded.
Morsi did not, however, rescind decrees granting him wide powers that his opponents had demanded, and his overtures on talks were immediately rejected by opposition leaders.
The main office of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood was set ablaze late Thursday, the group’s political party said, and another office used by the party was torched in a suburb south of the city, the state news agency reported.
In a nationally televised address to the nation, Morsi said he would bring together a number of groups at a Saturday meeting at the presidential palace.
“Such painful events happened because of political differences that should be resolved through dialogue,” the Islamist president said after two days of violence during protests.
The discussions would center on a political roadmap after a referendum on a new constitution, Reuters reported. Morsi said they would discuss the fate of the upper house of parliament after the lower house was dissolved in June, the election law and other issues. He said plans for the referendum on December 15 were on track.
Mohamed Morsi left the palace in the northern Cairo district of Heliopolis on Tuesday evening as tens of thousands of demonstrators surged around it, clashing briefly with police.
A presidential source said Morsi was back at work in the palace on Wednesday, even though up to 200 demonstrators had camped out near one entrance overnight.
Traffic was flowing normally in the area and riot police had been withdrawn, a witness said.
The rest of the Egyptian capital was calm, despite the political furore over Morsi’s November 22 decree handing himself wide powers and shielding his decisions from judicial oversight.
Egyptian police fired tear gas at opposition protesters demonstrating on Tuesday evening against Morsi’s drive to hold a snap referendum on the draft constitution.
Live television footage showed that some protesters broke through police lines and got too close to the presidential palace late on Tuesday night.
Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh, reporting from Cairo said: “We saw thousand of people surrounding the palace on all four corners, outnumbering the police and getting close to the presidential walls.”