News / Middle East

US Citizens Seek Refuge in Cairo Embassy

The White House says it is disappointed by Egypt's move to bar several American citizens from leaving the country as some of them sought refuge at the U.S. embassy in Cairo and tensions escalated over a probe into foreign-funded pro-democracy groups.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney speaks during his daily briefing, Jan. 23, 2012, in Washington
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney speaks during his daily briefing, Jan. 23, 2012, in Washington

The White House said Monday it has discussed the situation with Egyptian military authorities and made its concerns clear. Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters U.S. officials are working to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

The decision to give the individuals shelter follows Cairo's crackdown on non-governmental organizations - including several funded by the U.S. government - which saw travel bans imposed on at least six American and four European staff members.

Among those barred is Sam LaHood of the U.S.-based International Republican Institute. LaHood is the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. It remains unclear whether LaHood is at the embassy, but a former IRI official quoted in The Washington Post Sunday said his colleagues would only seek diplomatic protection if they feared imminent arrest.

U.S. officials said an Egyptian military delegation is expected in Washington this week for regular talks expected to focus on the impasse over the non-governmental organizations. The United States has recently threatened to withhold its $1.3-billion annual aid to the military if it fails to take steps toward democracy, including respecting such NGOs.

Egypt's ruling military council has been locked in confrontation for months with pro-democracy protesters who demand it immediately hand over power to civilians.

A civilian body that advises the army said Monday Egypt's generals are considering ways to speed up the transition to civilian rule, including moving up the date for presidential elections earlier than a self-imposed June deadline.

However, activists say the new proposals could inflame tensions because they squeeze the already short timeframe for drafting a new constitution and ignore their demands for the generals to step down immediately.

The military is consulting the same civilian advisory council the ruling generals created in December. The group met only intermittently and broke up after a short time to protest the military crackdown on demonstrators calling for its ouster. The group's remaining members are to report back to the military council on Wednesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid