Egypt's Morsi calls for dialogue on elections

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FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 file photo, Egyptian Ultras, hard-core soccer fans, chant anti-president Mohammed Morsi slogans while attending a rally in front of the provincial government headquarters, unseen, in Port Said, Egypt. Egypt's streets have turned into a daily forum for airing a range of social discontents from labor conditions to fuel shortages and the casualties of myriad clashes over the past two years. Newly called parliamentary elections hold out little hope for plucking the country out of the turmoil and if anything, are likely to just fuel unrest and push it toward economic collapse. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's Islamist president has invited political forces to join him in a dialogue to find ways to ensure the "integrity and transparency" of upcoming parliamentary elections.

Speaking in a television interview, Mohammed Morsi also rejected opposition charges that the elections he called for April were ill timed given the wave of unrest roiling the country.

"I see that the climate is very agreeable for an election," he said.

Morsi used the interview, recorded on Sunday but aired early Monday 5 ½ hours behind schedule, to try and improve his standing nearly eight months into his four-year term.

He repeatedly declared that he was a "president for all Egyptians," claimed he had no quarrel with any of the nation's political forces and reasserted his respect and confidence in the military.