News / Middle East

Morsi's Assumption of Sweeping Powers in Egypt Concerns US

Mohammed Morsi sitting in Ittihadiya Palace, the official residence of the president, in Heliopolis, a suburb of Cairo (photo from 10/07/12).
Mohammed Morsi sitting in Ittihadiya Palace, the official residence of the president, in Heliopolis, a suburb of Cairo (photo from 10/07/12).
The United States is concerned about Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi taking on broader powers, saying it does not want to see too much authority resting in too few hands. The president's decree has sparked protests by opposition activists, who continued to camp out in Cairo's Tahrir Square for a fourth day Monday to demand that Morsi reverse his decision.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr Monday to discuss President Morsi's assumption of broader powers.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Secretary Clinton underscored the importance Washington places on settling these disputes democratically.

"We want to see the constitutional process move forward in a way that does not overly concentrate power in one set of hands, that ensures that rule of law, checks and balances, protections of the rights of all groups in Egypt are upheld," she said.

Egyptian judges hope to persuade the president to limit the sweeping powers he granted himself last week.  Morsi says placing his decisions above judicial review is temporary.

He met Monday with Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council to explain the move. Nuland says that is encouraging.

"The fact that the right people are talking to each other is a good step, but obviously we want to see this issue resolved in a way that meets the standards and principles that we have been supporting all the way through since the Egyptian revolution began," she said.

A protester throws stones as others run for cover during clashes with riot police at Tahrir Square in Cairo, November 26, 2012.A protester throws stones as others run for cover during clashes with riot police at Tahrir Square in Cairo, November 26, 2012.
x
A protester throws stones as others run for cover during clashes with riot police at Tahrir Square in Cairo, November 26, 2012.
A protester throws stones as others run for cover during clashes with riot police at Tahrir Square in Cairo, November 26, 2012.
Rallies against the president's greater powers have reinvigorated a fractured opposition in Cairo, with some of his opponents accusing the new president of attempting to become "a new pharaoh."

Without a functioning legislature, Nuland says Egypt's post-revolutionary democracy is operating in a "very unclear political environment."

"It is a very murky, uncertain period in terms of the legal and constitutional underpinnings, which makes it all the more important that the process proceed on the basis of democratic dialogue and consultation," she said.

The State Department spokeswoman would not say whether President Morsi's decision might affect U.S. backing for International Monetary Fund assistance to Egypt's new government.

During her conversation with Foreign Minister Amr, Secretary Clinton also discussed the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas authorities in Gaza.​

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Elle from: US
November 26, 2012 8:29 PM
During the "Arab Spring", the Obama administration told us that we risk being on the wrong side if we remained aligned with secular Egypt’s government. Maybe so, however, recent events have made it clear there is a wrong side for freedom in the Middle East and, thanks to the administration backing up of the Muslim Brotherhood, we’re on it. I presume, a new Iranian freedom..

by: Jeffery from: Los Angeles
November 26, 2012 8:09 PM
The US wants this exactly. What a joke statement by Washington. Payoff Morsi (like his predecessor was paid off) and control Egypt and its borders - especially the "Gaza" border.

by: Chris from: TN
November 26, 2012 7:43 PM
Why would the U.S. be worried about Egypt's leaders power grabs when the executive branch here in the states has been doing the exact same thing through the patriot act, the military commissions act, NDAA, a number of cyber bills, and a host of other bills which remove freedom from the people?

by: George Washington from: Mount Vernon
November 26, 2012 7:16 PM
"U.S....saying it does not want to see too much authority resting in too few hands"
Irony defined, my fellow citizens. It's incredibly sick how such an obvious media focus shift is able to even take place in an increasingly oppresive government state. The United State's bid for true freedom has strayed so far from the path of realistic probability that under the constant distractions of modern society we as the people are oblivious to the futility of a popular vote or independent belief. The Middle East has been at war and under oppression since the beginning of recorded history, and by creating a media system where this sort of foreign vulgarity and violence is always headline news, society has metaphorically dug its own grave by allowing fear to dictate our lives and what we as the citizens of a potentially great, free country are able to do about it. LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD

by: Kablooy from: US
November 26, 2012 6:47 PM
A muslim attaining complete control of a government.....run away while you still can!

by: Ol' Bob from: USA
November 26, 2012 6:46 PM
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

by: Tom from: USA
November 26, 2012 6:40 PM
This is what Islamic Republics have alwasy become, ruthless dictatorships....that is why electing a known terrorist group to power in Palestine is such a slap in the face to Democracy...Democracy was created to stop dictatorships not allow them because they were voted in by completely corrupt uneducated people who don't even begin to understand what freedom means. In fact the farce that was the elections in Palestine can only be compared to other ruthless dictators who did the same thing throughout history held elections and declared themselves the winners....complete disgrace to Democracy, Freedom and a total disregard for world history.

by: Bernard Lenz from: U.S.A.
November 26, 2012 6:30 PM
Wow! A promoter of the Islamic Brotherhood running over the rights of other human beings who are not Islamic is not news. It is simply Islamic Dogma. Anyone who thinks that the Koran does not teach total domination of the world and absolute conversion/captivity of non-Islamic followers can not read, think or observe. This is just Islam in action. Tapdance, distract and take over. Soon followed by modified slavery for Women, girls and everyone else in varying degrees. In the event the complete surrender of society at the door of Islam is not taking place fast enough...then murder, torture and lie until it does.

by: Stefan Schreier from: Boise Idaho
November 26, 2012 6:26 PM
"....concerns U.S."? Why? What business is it of ours?

by: James Foster from: Hermosillo, Sonora, MX
November 26, 2012 6:21 PM
I wasn't aware that Egypt was answerable to the United States.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs