Washington surprised by resignation of Egypt cabinet

Ahram Online , Tuesday 25 Feb 2014

United States says resignation of Egypt's interim government was 'unexpected', reiterates calls for 'democratic, civilian-led' rule

Jen Psaki
Spokesperson of the US State Department Jen Psaki (Photo: AP)

The US administration said Monday it was not expecting the resignation of the Egyptian cabinet.

In a surprise move, the interim government resigned on Monday afternoon almost two months before presidential elections are expected to take place.

The cabinet had been in office since July 2013 when the military - led by El-Sisi and promoted by mass protests - ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi after a turbulent year in power.

"Of course, this step was unexpected, so we’re looking to obtain information on it," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a daily press briefing.

The spokeswoman said Washington was watching the situation closely and reaching out to its Egyptian counterparts for details.

"Our focus...remains on pressing and encouraging Egypt to take steps forward that will advance an inclusive transition process that leads to a democratic civilian-led government selected through a credible and transparent elections process," Psaki said.

The cabinet had come under intensifying pressure in recent months amid an imploding economy, terrorist attacks and labour unrest.

Dodging a question on whether the government's resignation smoothes the path for an El-Sisi presidential run, Psaki reiterated that "it’s up to the people of Egypt to determine who will lead their country in the future."

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