Last Update 18:17
US still backing Morsi as army remains quiescent
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi can still count on US support but he needs to bow a little lower if he wants to remain in Washington’s good books
Dina Ezzat , Tuesday 29 Jan 2013
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2781
Mohammed Morsi
U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. (Photo: AP)

President Mohamed Morsi remains confident that he has the indispensible support of Washington and the Egyptian armed forces – largely if not fully.

A round of talks between Cairo and Washington – some sources suggest it included direct talks between an apprehensive US President Barack Obama and a reassuring President Morsi – concluded that despite the outrage of protestors since the January 25 Revolution anniversary, Morsi’s presidency is weakened but not broken.

“He is still largely in control. Ultimately we think the anger [in Egypt] will calm down – but he will have to give something,” said a Cairo-based Western diplomat.

This view is shared by many foreign diplomats in Egypt: the army is not moving against Morsi – some hasten to add ‘at least not yet’ – and public opinion has not turned enough to see another president fall in less than two years.

Moreover, the call made by a leading member of the National Salvation Front for the West, especially Washington, to put pressure on Morsi, is still being pondered and no serious pressure seems to be building.

According to one informed source in Washington, an expected US State Department statement mildly placing more blame for the current violence on Morsi than on the rest of the political leadership was suspended in favour of a White House statement calling on all leaders to end the violence and pursue dialogue.

The spirit of the statement, the same source says, was largely influenced by the US ambassador to Egypt, who seems to be arguing the case for Morsi even as Washington becomes more sceptical. “It is clear these demonstrations will not bring Morsi down,” the source said.

Overall, Arab diplomats in Washington say the White House is comfortable with the role Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are playing on key Middle East issues: Gaza, Hamas, Iran and Syria. “And above this there is a sense of ease with regards to the positive statement Morsi made on the Prophet Mohamed's birthday about equal rights for Coptic Christians and Muslims alike,” said one Washington-based Arab diplomat.

Sources who followed recent talks between Washington, Morsi and the Egyptian army say a few concessions might be offered to contain public outrage.

Meanwhile, sources in the Egyptian opposition say their views on how to exit the current crisis have been solicited by the US embassy in Cairo. Some say these contacts amount to mediation rather than consultation – something a US embassy source declined to confirm, saying it is normal for embassies to talk with political leaders.

This said, an Egyptian military source confirms the US is confident the Egyptian army will stay out of politics. There are certain matters the armed forces “talk frankly about with the presidency but this does not mean the army is at all willing to re-engage in the political process – we are staying out of it,” he said.

A similar assessment is offered by several foreign diplomats in Cairo who essentially agree that Morsi is facing difficulties and that he is also facing pressure from the armed forces on some matters, but things have not reached the point at which the army would ask Morsi to step down.

According to the military source, who spoke to Ahram Online on condition of anonymity, the armed forces are unlikely to repeat the offer it made for a national dialogue last November during the political crisis over the president's constitutional declaration. “Unless we are asked by the presidency we are not intending to offer our help again. The president is dealing with this matter himself.”

A number of public figures and opposition politicians refused the president's invitation to join a national dialogue on the current crisis, presidential sources say.

The same sources suggest further sessions might convene in the next few days – perhaps with broader attendance. None of the sources, however, offer any coherent agenda for the possible outcome of this dialogue.

Some presidential sources have suggested President Morsi might delay a trip to Berlin and Paris scheduled to start on 29 January. Morsi has already cancelled his visit to the African Summit in Addis Ababa on Sunday.



Search Keywords:


Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 4000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
2



Herry69
29-01-2013 09:35pm
6-
5+
politics
this is why it is NEVER a good idea that countries have muslim regimes. violence violence violence etc etc etc...
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
1



Modern_Humaniora
29-01-2013 06:51pm
0-
0+
Yorktown June 6 Midway 1942
She took 3 tremendous blows during the battle of Midway June 4 1942, but she didn't sink. She kept herself floating by hers staff. But June 6, at dawn, she was hit by submarine I-168, three times, attacked during hauling, and eventually she couldn't take it anymore and sank June 6 Midway 1942 in the Pacific Ocean.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment

© 2010 Ahram Online. Advertising