Print options

July 15, 2013

US Pushes for an 'Inclusive' Egypt

by VOA News

U.S. officials are in Cairo to meet with Egypt's interim leaders and stress the need for a transition to "an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government."

Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns is making the first visit by a high-ranking U.S. official since the military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi earlier this month.  The State Department says his talks Monday and Tuesday also include civil society and business leaders.

Those meetings come as Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood urges its supporters to gather peacefully Monday in Cairo for the latest in a series of mass protests against his removal.

Thousands have been rallying for days near a mosque in northeast Cairo to demand the former president's reinstatement.

Also Monday, authorities say suspected militants attacked a bus carrying factory workers in the north Sinai town of El-Arish, killing at least three people and wounding 17 others.  The Sinai Peninsula has seen a rise in violence since Morsi's July 3 ouster.

Egypt's top general gave a nationally televised speech Sunday, defending the decision to remove Morsi as a response to what he called the will of the people.

General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said Morsi had lost legitimacy because of mass protests by his opponents, and rejected accusations that the move was religiously motivated.

Morsi has been held at an undisclosed location since his removal, while scores of senior Muslim Brotherhood members have been taken into custody.  Authorities have not charged him with a crime, but say they are investigating a series of complaints against him including spying and wrecking the economy.

Egyptian judicial sources said Sunday the public prosecutor ordered the freezing of assets of 14 prominent Islamists, including Brotherhood supreme leader Mohamed Badie