Resolution to Egyptian crisis 'imminent,' justice minister says

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A resolution is imminent to the political crisis stemming from the Egyptian president's move to give himself sweeping new powers, the country's justice minister said Monday.

Hours before President Mohammed Morsi was due to meet members of the Supreme Judiciary Council to discuss the package of decrees announced Thursday, Ahmed Mekki spoke with reporters, although he did not indicate precisely what he based his prediction on for the quick resolution.

Morsi's move put him above any kind of oversight, including that of the courts. The judiciary council is in charge of the courts.

The opposition, meanwhile, denounced the decrees as dictatorial, and vowed to press on with street protests until Morsi rescinds them.

On Sunday, Arizona Sen. John McCain called on President Obama to renounce Morsi’s move to seize full control of the country, saying the president should “condemn” his actions.

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“First we must condemn it,” the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee told “Fox News Sunday.” “Then we can outline what actions might be taken.”

Morsi announced his intentions last week, just one day after he helped broker a cease-fire agreement in Israel between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas in the Gaza strip.

“This kind of power is not acceptable to the United States,” McCain said. “Renounce the statement and the move that [Morsi] just made.”

The Obama administration on Friday asked Egypt to adopt a constitution complete with checks and balances.

“We call for calm and encourage all parties to work together and call for all Egyptians to resolve their differences over these important issues peacefully and through democratic dialogue,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

The move by the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Morsi has sparked violent street protests, largely in Cairo, that have reportedly resulted in more than 500 injuries.

The protests are expected to continue, unraveling the stability brought after political protests ousted President Hosni Mubarak and put Morsi into power this past summer.

Morsi’s attempt last week to consolidate power shields his efforts from the country’s judiciary branch, which he considers an unreformed part of the Mubarak era.

“One of the aspirations of the revolution was to ensure that power would not be overly concentrated in the hands of any one person or institution,” Nuland continued.

McCain said the United States has leverage in trying to persuade Morsi to step back because it provides Egypt with billions in financial aid, in addition to forgiving its debt and supporting an International Monetary Fund deal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.