News / Middle East

    Obama Continues to Monitor Tense Egypt Situation

    President Barack Obama studies a document held by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper during the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office, February 3, 2011.
    President Barack Obama studies a document held by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper during the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office, February 3, 2011.

    President Obama returned to the White House after a brief trip to Pennsylvania on Thursday, and has been holding more consultations advisers on the situation in Egypt.  The United States pressed harder on the Egyptian government and military to stop a wave of violence.

    The president moved quickly past members of the press corps without comment, and into the Oval Office where over the past few days of the Egyptian crisis he has met with advisers and spoken twice by telephone with President Hosni Mubarak.

    In an interview with ABC's Christiane Amanpour, Mr. Mubarak referred to those conversations and said, according to excerpts, while he is a "very good man" Mr. Obama didn't understand the culture of Egypt.

    In the same interview, Mr. Mubarak said he was "very unhappy" with violence in Egypt, which he blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood, but said he could not step down and risk the chaos he says would ensue.

    President Obama's only public remark on Egypt came much earlier in the day, in a speech to the National Prayer Breakfast.

    "We are also mindful of the violence we are now seeing in the Middle East and we pray that the violence in Egypt will end and that the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realized and a better day will dawn over Egypt and throughout the world," he said.

    There were no indications President Obama would make any additional remarks on Egypt, as the United States stepped up pressure on the government in Cairo to prevent additional violence.

    A White House statement said Vice President Joe Biden spoke by telephone with Egypt's Vice President, Omar Suleiman, to reiterate President Obama's condemnation of recent violence. Mr. Biden also called for restraint by all sides and urged that credible, inclusive negotiations begin immediately for a transition to a democratic government.

    Vice President Suleiman told ABC on Thursday that the government would never authorize the use of force against the Egyptian people, saying they had legitimate grievances, which he and President Mubarak asserted the government had met.

    Earlier, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs issued a strong condemnation of violence in Egypt, and called systematic targeting of journalists completely and totally unacceptable.

    The veteran U.S. diplomat, retired Ambassador Frank Wisner, returned to Washington early on Thursday from Cairo where he conveyed key messages from the U.S. government to President Mubarak and other officials.   

    The State Department said Wisner had briefed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but it was unclear whether he would also brief the president.

    Secretary Clinton said the U.S condemns attacks on journalists, saying the Egyptian government and army have a clear responsibility to protect those threatened and hold accountable those responsible for attacks on the media.   

    She also urged the beginning of serious negotiations between the Egyptian government and a broad and credible representation of Egypt's opposition, civil society and political factions.

    The White House provided details late Thursday of a conversation President Obama had with President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, where largely peaceful demonstrations occurred between pro and anti-government factions.

    According to the statement, Mr. Obama welcomed "significant reform measures" and stressed the need for President Saleh "to follow-up his pledge with concrete actions." Mr. Obama also said Yemeni security forces should show restraint and refrain from violence against demonstrators.  

    President Obama also used the call to tell President Saleh it is "imperative" that Yemen take forceful action against Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and expressed concern over the release of Abd-Ilah al-Shai, who had been sentenced to five years in prison for his association with AQAP.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora