News / Middle East

West Increases Pressure on Egypt

An Egyptian takes video of the burning remains of the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, in the center of the largest protest camp of Morsi supporters that was cleared by security forces, Nasr city, Cairo, August 15, 2013.
An Egyptian takes video of the burning remains of the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, in the center of the largest protest camp of Morsi supporters that was cleared by security forces, Nasr city, Cairo, August 15, 2013.
VOA News
Western powers have stepped up pressure on Egypt's interim government, a day after its crackdown on supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi left hundreds dead.

U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday he has canceled a major U.S.-Egypt joint military exercise scheduled for next month.  The "Bright Star" exercise typically is held every two years and boosts the prestige of the Egyptian army, whose ties to the United States go back decades.

Interrupting his vacation in the state of Massachusetts to announce the move, Obama said he wants to sustain U.S. cooperation with Egypt, which receives more than $1 billion in U.S. military aid annually.  But, he warned of further steps if Egyptian authorities continue to engage in what he called "violence against civilians."

Related video report by Michael Lipin:

Egypt's Protest Crackdown Draws Criticism in West, Pro-Morsi Nationsi
X
August 15, 2013 12:15 PM
Egypt's violent crackdown on supporters of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi has triggered condemnations from Western powers and Muslim nations who backed the ousted leader. VOA's Michael Lipin has more from Washington
In Europe, Egyptian ambassadors were summoned by Britain, France, Germany and Italy to hear objections to Wednesday's crackdown on pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo.

Obama also called for an end to violence by supporters of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement, which has demanded the former president's reinstatement after the military deposed him on July 3.

"Let me say that the Egyptian people deserve better than what we have seen over the last several days. And to the Egyptian people, let me say the cycle of violence and escalation needs to stop," said President Obama.

French President Francois Hollande's office said he condemned the killings in Egypt and urged it to do everything possible to avoid a civil war.  German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also called for the fighting to end.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr appealed to the Egyptian government to exercise restraint.

"We underline the need for a peaceful resolution, a compromise between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood and an end to the loss of life, the resort to violence.  Respect for minorities.  I think that is a very important theme that needs to be underlined as well," said Carr.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who supported Morsi's year-long administration, called for the U.N. Security Council to respond quickly to what he described as Egypt's massacre of protesters.  Erdogan also criticized Western powers for not taking tougher action against Egypt.

"You remained silent in Palestine, Gaza, you remained silent in Syria.  One hundred thousand people lost their lives and you are still remaining silent.  Four hundred thousand people are seeking refuge in Turkey and still [you are] remaining silent.  You are still silent on Egypt," said Erdogan. "So how come you talk about democracy, freedom, global values and human rights?''

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the reports of mass fatalities in Egypt's unrest "point to an excessive, even extreme use of force against demonstrators."

Pillay called for an independent investigation of the conduct of Egyptian security forces. But, she also acknowledged allegations that some protesters were heavily armed and said demonstrators must remain peaceful.

China declined to criticize the Egyptian government as a state television anchorwoman read the Chinese foreign ministry's first reaction to the situation.

"China urges all relevant parties in Egypt to put national and the people's interest first, maintain the maximum restraint to avoid more casualties, bridge differences through dialogue and negotiations, restore order and social stability," she said.

Russia limited its comment on Egypt to a message urging Russian citizens to refrain from traveling to Egypt.

The United Arab Emirates expressed understanding for the Egyptian government, which it said took sovereign measures against the pro-Morsi protesters after exercising "maximum self-control."  The UAE is an opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood and provided $3 billion in aid to the interim government that replaced Morsi.

Pope Francis asked the faithful to pray for peace in Egypt.

"Painful news, unfortunately, reaches us from Egypt. I wish to ensure that my prayers are with all the victims and their families, the wounded and those who are suffering. Let us pray together for peace, dialogue and reconciliation in that beloved land and in the whole world," said Pope Francis.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid