News / Middle East

US Encourages Muslim Brotherhood to Join Egyptian Political Transition

Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi protest at the Republican Guard building in Nasr City, Cairo, July 9, 2013.
Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi protest at the Republican Guard building in Nasr City, Cairo, July 9, 2013.
The Obama administration says it is encouraging Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to take part in a political transition following the ouster of the country's first democratically-elected president - himself a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

As interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour fills out positions in the transitional authority, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says the Obama administration is encouraged by plans for new legislative elections.

"We're encouraged that the interim government has laid out a plan for a path forward. And of course any process moving forward must be inclusive and take the consensus into account," said Psaki.

She says Washington is still reviewing events to determine whether the military's ouster of President Mohamed Morsi was a coup - an important legal distinction that would affect U.S. foreign aid to Egypt.

Morsi supporters are demanding his return to power, with the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party rejecting the interim timetable as an effort to take Egypt "back to zero."

Psaki says U.S. officials are reaching out to members of the Muslim Brotherhood to encourage them to take part in this transition.

"We have been in touch with members of the Muslim Brotherhood. We want them to be a part of the process moving forward. The process is going to take place over a long course of time, so obviously we believe that in cases where there were arbitrary arrests, they should be released," she said.

She would not say whether U.S. officials have directly asked Egyptian security forces to release members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Our message has been clear that we want to see transparency. We want to see respect for due process and for the rule of law," she said.

Psaki and White House Spokesman Jay Carney have both urged Egyptian security forces to use "maximum restraint" in dealing with Morsi supporters. But neither would directly condemn Monday's killing of more than 50 people near a Cairo military facility, saying there is an ongoing investigation into what happened there.

  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi perform weekly Friday prayers at the Rabaa Adawiya square in Cairo where they are camping, July 12, 2013.
  • A supporter of Morsi is doused with water on a hot day in Cairo, July 12, 2013.
  • Supporters of the ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi shout anti-army slogans during a sit-in protest in Cairo July 11, 2013.
  • Morsi Supporters pray after breaking their fast during Ramadan, in Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, July 11, 2013.
  • An Egyptian boy stands among Morsi supporters who are offering the Tarawih prayer after the evening meal during Ramadan, in Nasr City, Cairo, July 10, 2013.
  • Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi during a rally in Nasr City, Cairo, July 10, 2013.
  • Supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi protest at the Republican Guard building in Nasr City, Cairo, July 10, 2013.
  • A supporter of ousted President Mohamed Morsi joins in a protest at the Republican Guard building in Nasr City, Cairo, July 10, 2013.
  • A supporter of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi reads the Koran at the Rabaa Adawiya square, Cairo,  July 9, 2013.
  • Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi at their camp in Rabaa Adawiy square, Cairo, July 9, 2013. 
  • A supporter of ousted President Mohamed Morsi with a national flag gestures to army soldiers guard at the Republican Guard building in Nasr City, Cairo, July 9, 2013.
  • Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Morsi at Republican Guard headquarters in Nasr City, Cairo, July 8, 2013. 
  • Supporters Morsi carry the body of a fellow supporter killed by violence outside the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo, July 8, 2013.
  • Morsi supporters mourn protesters who died during clashes with army soldiers in Cairo, July 8, 2013.
  • Wounded supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi wait for treatment at a field hospital in Cairo, July 8, 2013. 

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