Kerry says 'too early' to judge Egypt path after Morsi

AFP , Wednesday 17 Jul 2013

Kerry's statement comes amid mass Pro-Morsi protests opposing Tuesday's new cabinet appointment

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

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said it was too early to judge yet the future course of Egypt following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi.

"Very clearly order needs to be restored, stability needs to be restored, rights need to be protected ... and the country needs to be able to return to normal business," Kerry told a press conference in Amman.

Kerry's comments came amid pro-Morsi demonstrations in Cairo to protest Tuesday's appointment of a new Cabinet.

The The new government, led by interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi, a liberal economist, was sworn in on Tuesday and is mostly comprised of liberal figures, some of whom belong to the non-Islamist opposition, including El-Beblawi himself. Brotherhood refused to accept Cabinet positions despite offers from the presidency.

Minor scuffles were reported at the protest outside the Cabinet building.

Some of the protesters then marched along the corniche and attempted to cross over Qasr El-Nil Bridge to Giza's Nahda Square. After they were blocked by security forces they crossed instead over Gamaa Bridge in Manial, which was the site of deadly clashes between Brotherhood supporters and local residents last week.

An eyewitness told Ahram Online that the scene in Manial was tense as the march passed, but there was no reported violence.

Essam El-Erian, a senior member of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, had called for protesters to "show that the majority of Egyptians" reject the new Cabinet which "was not elected by the people and is not accountable."

El-Erian said liberal and leftist parties were "servants of the coup leaders" and were "betraying democracy."

The Brotherhood said it would not recognise the new government and insisted Mohamed Morsi and the Shura Council be reinstated before it engages in talks.

Clashes between Morsi supporters and state forces have left around 60 dead since 3 July, including over 50 at a protest outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo last week.

Supporters of the former president have been holding daily protests since his deposition.

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