A top U.S. diplomat met early on Monday a jailed senior leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, part of mediation efforts to end the standoff between Egypt’s military-backed government and protesters supporting the ousted president, government officials said.

They said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met in prison with Khairat el-Shater, the powerful deputy head of the Brotherhood, the Islamist group from which deposed President Mohamed Morsy hails. Mr Burns was accompanied by the foreign ministers of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as well as an EU envoy.