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

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software More

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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs