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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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
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 Parents of Disaster Ferry Passengers Lash Out at Authorities

Twenty-nine bodies recovered from water but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

US congressional delegation initiates $84 million Agent Orange cleanup project More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid