News / Middle East

    Change Atop Egyptian Military 'No Surprise' to US

    Egyptian Field Marshal Gen. Hussein Tantawi (l) President Mohammed Morsi, center, and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan, right, July 5, 2012.Egyptian Field Marshal Gen. Hussein Tantawi (l) President Mohammed Morsi, center, and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan, right, July 5, 2012.
    x
    Egyptian Field Marshal Gen. Hussein Tantawi (l) President Mohammed Morsi, center, and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan, right, July 5, 2012.
    Egyptian Field Marshal Gen. Hussein Tantawi (l) President Mohammed Morsi, center, and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan, right, July 5, 2012.
    STATE DEPARTMENT —The Obama administration says it is not surprised by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's move to change his country's top military leaders. The United States says what is important now is for Egypt's civilian and military leaders to complete the country's democratic transition.

    State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew of ongoing discussions about a new defense team and was told during talks with President Morsi in Cairo last month that the change would be made "at an appropriate moment."

    So, Nuland says, Sunday's forced retirement of Defense Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi and Army Chief of Staff Sami Annan was "no surprise."

    "These are obviously personnel decisions for Egyptians to make. What is important to us is that the civilian leadership and the military keep working well together to advance the goals of the democratic transition in Egypt and to work through the many remaining outstanding questions about how we get to a fully democratic parliament, a constitution, etcetera," said Nuland.

    Nuland says the new leaders named by President Morsi are all people with whom Washington has worked before, including many who have trained in the United States. Among those is the former senior judge and new vice president Mahmoud Mekki. Nuland says Mekki could play an important role in still-to-be-decided aspects of Egypt's transition.

    "Clearly, having somebody who has got strong legal background could be helpful, could be appropriate in the context of working through these remaining constitutional issues that have to be solved there, but time will tell obviously," she said.

    The military shake-up comes amid growing tensions over security in the northern Sinai following a recent attack by militants that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. Nuland says Sinai security has a direct impact on the new government's relationship with Israel.

    "Obviously there are security issues in Sinai that have to be dealt with," said Nuland. "As the Egyptians work to gain control of Sinai, the way they do it obviously has an impact on their neighbors, has an impact on the region, has an impact on their existing security and treaty relationships, and we want to see all of those things go smoothly."

    President Morsi canceled a constitutional declaration that granted wide powers to senior military officers. He says Sunday's decisions "did not intend to embarrass institutions" and were taken for the benefit of Egypt and its people.

    The military has not publicly reacted to the new president's move.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Mr. Rob from: LV
    August 14, 2012 3:42 AM
    What I wonder most when Hillary Clinton says she is 'not surprised' by the announcement, is this: How much information did the Obama Administration really have ahead of time about the 'soft coup.' Was the Obama Administration involved in the plot to organize the coup. For example, perhaps the reason why the two top generals who were fired have so far not publicly resisted the move is because the Obama Administration pressured the generals ahead of time into accepting the forced resignation. What this could mean is that the Obama Administration is responsible for delivering near total control of the Egyptian government into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. This could be catostrophic for American interests in the Middle East.

    by: heshukui from: China
    August 13, 2012 9:21 PM
    We can consider to jack up some countries the words of military weight!

    by: Paul from: UK
    August 13, 2012 4:51 PM
    i am of the belief that if the Israelis were surprised... the whole world is surprised... so don't try to sell us "the Obama administration" was not surprised... hey Obama why not send an additional 1.7 Billion Dollars to sustain this Arab degeneracy??

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora