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Morsi's presidential decrees to remain

President Mohamed Morsi has said he will stick by his controversial decrees after meeting with Egypt's top judges. Morsi has been accused of consolidating power, but had hoped to use the talks to reach out to detractors.

Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali told reporters Monday that there is "no change in the constitutional declaration."

Morsi had met with the Supreme Judiciary Council in an attempt to reach a common ground after opposition leaders and protesters had criticized him for issuing a series of decrees that gave him dictatorial powers.

Among the measures is a ban on any judicial review of presidential decrees or other actions and legal immunity for the Islamist-dominated assembly charged with drafting the country's new constitution.

Constitutional assembly immunity remains

The council had said Morsi's decrees should only apply to "sovereign matters," and according to his spokesman, Morsi agreed.

"The president said he has the utmost respect for the judicial authority and its members," Ali said, adding that in regards to immunity for presidential decisions, "what is intended is those that are linked to matters of sovereignty."

Ali also said that there were no changes to the immunity granted to the constitutional assembly, and stressed what Morsi called the "temporary" nature of all of the measures.

"The president and the Supreme Judicial Council confirmed their desire for no conflict or no difference between the judicial and presidential authorities," said Ali.

dr/kms (AFP, Reuters)