Setting the stage for a take out of the sit-ins…

(Reuters) – Egypt’s presidency said on Wednesday that diplomatic efforts to end the country’s political turmoil had failed and warned that the Muslim Brotherhood of ousted President Mohamed Mursi would be held responsible for the consequences.

In a statement, interim President Adly Mansour’s office said the period of international efforts that began more than 10 days ago had “ended today”.

The state held the Muslim Brotherhood completely responsible for “the failure of these efforts and the later events and developments that might result from this failure related to breaches of the law and endangering civil peace”, it added.

The breakdown raised the prospect of heightened instability and bloodshed in the largest Arab state which has a peace treaty with Israel and controls the strategically vital Suez Canal.

Thousands of supporters of Mursi, who was toppled by the army on July 3, have been staging protest sit-ins in two areas of Cairo for the last five weeks to demand his reinstatement.

Egyptian authorities had warned they were losing patience with the sit-ins. The presidency’s declaration suggests security forces could soon use force to break up the gatherings, raising the prospect of more bloodshed.

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