News / Middle East

Kerry: US a Partner of Egypt, Aid Cutback Not Punishment

Kerry in Cairo Calls for Transparent Justice Ahead of Morsi Triali
November 03, 2013 3:54 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Egyptian civilian and military leaders Sunday in the highest-ranking U.S. visit to Cairo since the coup against President Mohamed Morsi. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, Kerry called for transparent justice a day before the start of the trial of the former president.
Kerry in Cairo Calls for Transparent Justice Ahead of Morsi Trial
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Egyptian civilian and military leaders Sunday in the highest-ranking U.S. visit to Cairo since the coup against President Mohamed Morsi. He called for transparent justice a day before the start of the trial against the former president.

Kerry says it is no secret that Egypt is going through difficult times following July's military-backed takeover, but he told officials here that President Obama is confident Egyptians will overcome those challenges.

"The United States believes that the U.S.-Egypt partnership is going to be strongest when Egypt is represented by an inclusive democratically-elected civilian government based on rule of law, fundamental freedoms, and an open and competitive economy," he said.

The visit came a day before the scheduled start of Morsi's trial. Taking questions from reporters following talks with Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, Kerry did not mention the former president by name but said it is important that civilians face civilian justice.

"Minister Fahmy and I agreed on the need to ensure that Egyptians are afforded due process with fair and transparent trials," he said.

In response to violence that followed the coup that toppled Morsi, the United States delayed the delivery of some major weapons systems. But Washington is continuing most of its military aid, taking a middle path that American University professor Akbar Ahmed says satisfies no one.

"Both sides are going to be critical. Both sides are going to say it is not enough. You have to choose," he said.

Morsi's supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood believe the United States is choosing Egypt's military over its young democracy, says Cato Institute analyst Doug Bandow, and that could further radicalize the group.

"We risk destroying the kind of semi-moderate leadership, whatever is out there, and having a much younger and more radical leadership rise up," he said.

How the United States manages political expectations in Egypt and across North Africa will ultimately help determine the legacy of the Arab Spring uprisings and the young people who joined them, says U.S. Institute of Peace analyst Manal Omar.

"There was the ballot box. There was a way to go through the system. And it created a huge paradigm shift in the minds of the youth. My concern with what's happening in Egypt is we are sending the message that you were actually tricked. That isn't a way to be heard. There really is only violence," said Manal Omar.

Kerry says progress toward a democratic transition is linked to Egypt's overall economic success.

"With stability comes tourism and investment. And with both come jobs for the Egyptian people," he said.

Kerry says the United States believes that the military-backed transitional government has so far shown that it is determined to return the country to civilian rule.

Kerry departed later Sunday for Saudi Arabia, whose rulers have criticized the U.S. refusal to take military action against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, embroiled in a civil war against rebels backed by Riyadh.

Before departing Cairo, Kerry said the United States and its regional partners "share the same goal" of achieving a "transitional government" in Syria, even if they differ on "individual tactics."

Kerry's other stops include Israel and the West Bank, where he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He also is due to visit Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Morocco and Poland.

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Comment Sorting
by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
November 03, 2013 11:03 AM
John Kerry, the US Secretary of State has one foot in the military take over and the other foot in proclaiming democracy. It is preferable to say that the U.S. support the aspirations of the secular Egyptian people and democracy, instead of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood for participating in democratic process ending in dictatorship of Morsi, violence, attacks against the Coptic minority and support of Moslem terrorism in the Sinai.

by: musawi melake from: d
November 03, 2013 10:30 AM
So, by paying a visit to a state that, according to the so called their own declarations, set aside every democratic principles and imposed dictatorial rules, Uncle Sam is indicating that after all it was it's the US that was behind ousting of a people-elected leader. All that's needed is a popular uprising to get rid of the proxies in Egypt's military and setup a people friendly state. The evil intents of the US and it's allies that is solely interested in safeguarding the Jewish state, while imposing suffering and misery on the neighbors, Arabs. Everything that's goes on in Syria is orchestrated by these Western powers to make the life of Israel extended. When there's oppression inside it's very easy for outsiders to get involved to "fish on troubled waters". This was the case during the colonial era in various parts of the world where a smaller Britain was able to control larger populations, by using one group against the other and finding somebody who collaborates for his own personal gains like the Syrian observatory for human rights based in London. Assads weren't a problem for the West a few years ago, but he is now, simply because they think they could install another loyal one who can be friendly with Israel. So, the thing is that get as much help from the West and remove Assad and then use they same thing against the West to teach a lesson!

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