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US urges Egyptian leaders to halt 'political' arrests

US State Department reiterates calls on Egypt to stop "politically motivated" detentions, opt for pluralist democracy

AFP, Tuesday 13 Aug 2013
Views: 1635
Views: 1635

The United States urged Egypt's new leaders Monday to halt all "politically motivated arrests and detentions," but there was no specific mention of the future of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said the continued holding of people in custody was one of the problems Egypt has to resolve on its own if it is to move beyond the political unrest of the past six weeks.

"We continue to call for an end to all politically motivated arrests and detentions and emphasize that this won't help Egypt move beyond the crisis. Our position hasn't changed," Harf said.

"It's up to the Egyptian people to decide what their government looks like going forward. We've repeatedly made clear that it's not for us to decide."

Islamist leader Morsi has been in detention since his ouster on July 3. When asked about the decision of Egypt's judiciary to extend Morsi's time in custody by 15 days, Harf did not mention the ousted leader by name.

"There needs to be an inclusive, democratic process going forward," Harf said, noting the need for Egyptian leaders to respect people's right to assemble peacefully.

"We don't take sides. We're not going to decide what the future of Egypt's government looks like," she added.

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