US State Department denies calling for early Egypt elections

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Jul 2013

Earlier CNN exclusive claims US officials have warned Egypt army of aid cuts in event of military coup; US State Department denies reports

US State Department
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (Photo: Reuters)

The US State Department says reports that the US is pressing for early presidential elections in Egypt – the main demand of anti-government protesters – are inaccurate, Reuters reported after a CNN report to the contrary.

In an earlier exclusive, CNN claimed that the Obama administration is urging Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to call for early elections and has warned the Egyptian military that it risks losing US financial assistance if it carries out a military coup against Egypt's first-ever freely elected head of state.

In the Tuesday report, the US news channel cited anonymous senior Obama administration officials as saying that the demands of the Egyptian people were similar to suggestions Washington and its allies have urged Morsi to take for weeks.

According to the report, US officials have warned the Egyptian Armed Forces that a military coup would lead to the cutting of the $1.5 billion annual US aid package to Egypt.

On Monday, the armed forces issued a statement giving all political forces in Egypt 48 hours to resolve their differences or face a military-imposed "roadmap" for the country's political future.

In another statement later that day, the official spokesperson of the armed forces made it clear that the Egyptian army was not planning a coup.

The CNN report also hinted that the Obama administration was concerned about its perceived support for the Morsi government and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The report claimed that US officials have tried to push Morsi towards reform since what it described as the "23 November constitutional fiasco."

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