News / Middle East

    US Concerned by Egyptian Military Moves

    An Egyptian soldier directs a voter inside a polling station June 16, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt.An Egyptian soldier directs a voter inside a polling station June 16, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt.
    x
    An Egyptian soldier directs a voter inside a polling station June 16, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt.
    An Egyptian soldier directs a voter inside a polling station June 16, 2012 in Cairo, Egypt.
    The United States is expressing concern about the Egyptian military’s move to limit the new president’s powers and expand its own.

    Both the U.S. State Department and the Defense Department weighed in Monday on the new Constitutional Declaration issued by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which observers say makes the country’s incoming leader largely ceremonial.

    “We believe Egypt’s transition must continue and that Egypt is made stronger and more stable by a successful transition to democracy,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement. “We have, and will continue, to urge the SCAF to relinquish power to civilian-elected authorities and to respect the universal rights of the Egyptian people and the rule of law.”

    Final results from Egypt’s presidential runoff election are not expected until later this week, but Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood has already claimed victory over Ahmed Shafiq, an ally of former president Hosni Mubarak. Shafiq's campaign says he is ahead.

    As the polls closed and early results from Saturday and Sunday’s vote began to show Morsi in the lead, the SCAF declared the new president would not have power over the military, and the ruling military council would have the right to pass laws until a new parliament is sworn in.

    The move follows a Supreme Court decision last week to dissolve the Egyptian parliament, where the Islamist party had held a majority. Muslim Brotherhood supporters and other activists who joined the revolution that forced longtime leader Mubarak to step down last year are accusing the military of carrying out a "soft coup."

    U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. is “particularly concerned” by decisions that appear to prolong the military's hold on power.

    “This is a critical moment in Egypt, and the world is watching closely,” Nuland said, adding “there can be no going back on the democratic transition.”

    “The United States stands with the Egyptian people in their aspiration to choose their own leaders," she said, quoting the sentiments of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    Nuland said the U.S. is calling on the SCAF to restore popular and international confidence in the democratic transition process by following through on their commitments.

    That includes, she said, an inclusive constitutional drafting process, the timely seating of a democratically-elected parliament, and the swift, permanent transfer of power to a civilian government.

    The SCAF pushed back Monday against accusations that it is overstepping its authority and suggested the situation had been exaggerated. 

    During a press conference in Cairo, Major General Mamdouh Shahin said the military council’s amendments to its previous Constitutional Declaration were to ensure that no particular person had authority over Egypt’s legislative and executive branches. He said the president would still have the ability to veto laws.

     

    The U.S. has provided billions in military aid to Egypt over three decades of close relations. The Pentagon spokesman said the U.S. wants that relationship to continue, but that it will be closely monitoring the SCAF’s next moves.

    You May Like

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    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