‘‘Three of us insisted on our position to boycott elections and explained our opinion,’’ he said. ‘‘The other three said they would take part, but that there needs to be guarantees of transparency and fairness in the elections.’’
One invitee who decided not to attend, Ahmed Maher, the founder of a group that helped spark the revolution that toppled Mubarak, said he didn’t go because the meeting’s goals were unclear, its allotted time of about an hour was not long enough and it lacked major opposition figures.
‘‘It is clear that nothing has changed in Washington’s shallow way of dealing with Egypt,’’ he said. ‘‘There are no deep conversations. Everything is just being rushed through.’’ He added that the elections will be a ‘‘one-sided game’’ because the Muslim Brotherhood is running Egypt.
Kerry finished his day with Kamel Amr at the foreign ministry. Before the meeting, several hundred people protested against Kerry’s visit. They burned Kerry’s pictures and chanted that Washington was siding with the Muslim Brotherhood; they dispersed before Kerry arrived.
The foreign minister said he was hopeful that the Obama administration would come through for Egypt.
‘‘Of course, we expect from friends, especially the United States as a strategic partner, to stand by Egypt in this period, especially on the economic issues,’’ he said.
Kerry is in Cairo on the sixth leg of a nine-nation trip to Europe and the Middle East.