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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid