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US declines to criticize Egypt's military following Morsi ouster

The United States says "We're not taking sides in this" after Egypt's military ousted President Mohamed Morsi

Reuters, Wednesday 3 Jul 2013
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The United States declined on Wednesday to criticize Egypt's military, even as it was ousting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi from power.

Minutes before Egypt's army commander announced that Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, had been deposed and the constitution suspended, the U.S. State Department criticized Morsi, but gave no public signal it was opposed to the army's action.

Asked whether the Egyptian army had the legitimacy to remove Morsi from power, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, "We're not taking sides in this."

The muted U.S. response - at least thus far - to the dramatic events in Cairo suggested that Washington may be willing to accept the military's move as a way of ending a political crisis that has paralyzed Egypt, a long-time U.S. ally.

Still, the distant attitude toward Morsi, who has come under U.S. criticism in recent days, could open up President Barack Obama to complaints he has not supported democracy in the Arab world.

There was no immediate reaction from the White House or the State Department to the military's announcement that it was installing a technocratic government to eventually be followed by new elections.

But the fact that the Egyptian military announced plans for elections and a constitutional review, and that those plans were immediately backed by the country's leading Muslim and Christian clerics, could help the transition roadmap earn Washington's backing.

Earlier, Psaki had made clear that U.S. officials were disappointed in Morsi's speech on Tuesday night. In that speech Morsi said he would defend the legitimacy of his elected office with his life.

Morsi must "do more to be truly responsive" to concerns of Egyptian people" after huge rallies over the weekend, she said. "We are calling on him to take more steps."

Specifically, Psaki said Morsi should call for an end to violence, including violence against women. He should also take steps to engage with the opposition and the military and work through the crisis in a political fashion, she added.

The military move also presents Obama with a dilemma over continuing U.S. aid to Egypt. Underlying the importance for Washington of keeping ties to Egypt's military, Secretary of State John Kerry in May quietly approved $1.3 billion in military assistance, even though the country did not meet democracy standards set by the U.S. Congress for it to receive the aid.

U.S. law requires most American aid to be cut off "to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d'etat or decree."

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Moataz BARBOUR
08-07-2013 10:55am
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Revolution
It's revolution if any one not see that he is Blind .
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agnabi
04-07-2013 01:32am
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dilemma ended?
John Kerry in May quietly approved $1.3 billion in military assistance, even though the country did not meet democracy standards set by the U.S. Congress for it to receive the aid. So it sounds to me as if it is a kind of conspiracy.... US government must be happy to see the fall of Mursi's reign. I am sure the Westerners didn't welcome his presidency, (former) MB member, while they have to pretend respecting the result of the election, because it was the democracy! Their dilemma ended.
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s. Gerges
03-07-2013 11:40pm
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Egypt Polital Issue
Let the egyptian decide what is best for them, and what is the right leader to chose and lead this nation to solve there economical and politcal problems. Egypt is nation of long history and civilization, and any interference from foriegn country, it could make the setuation much worse
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Michal Goldman
03-07-2013 11:06pm
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Slience is the best policy
I've just read that my government has announced that it's "not taking sides." I'm very relieved, because I was afraid we'd take the wrong side as we've done so many times before. So, Mr Obama and Mr Kerry, just remember what your mothers taught you: if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!
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Bayray Tadesse
03-07-2013 10:26pm
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A Great People
This great people know what is best for thir contry, i would like to express the pride i felt on the discipline and responsible behavior exhibited at Tahrir & else where in Egypt. I pray for a posetive and peaceful outcome. May god guide you in the right direction.
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