News / Middle East

Violence, Uncertainty in Egypt Could Affect US Policy

Meredith Buel

Egypt's military rulers have now agreed to form a new government and promise to transfer power to a civilian body by July. But tens of thousands of protesters want an immediate end to military rule.

Large crowds of protestors in Tahrir Square in Cairo are demanding the nation’s military rulers step down.

And the violence that has accompanied the protests worries U.S. officials.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “The United States continues to believe that the tragic events, that these tragic events, rather, should not stand in the way of elections and a continued transition to democracy.”

Egypt is the anchor of American foreign policy in the Middle East and its strategic importance is huge, says University of Maryland professor Shibley Telhami. “Egypt is the most populous and influential Arab state.  What happens there will be consequential for other American interests, including in the Gulf, how the Gulf States will behave or how they will interpret it.  So for all these reasons there is much at stake for the U.S," he said.

Telhami says the continuing clashes between demonstrators and security forces could impact public opinion in the U.S. “If the relationship is stressed and there is a real confrontation between the military and the public you are going to have a changed political environment here both in Congress and in our public opinion," he said.

President Barack Obama has urged Egypt’s military council to end emergency rule and halt military trials of civilians.

The violence jeopardizes billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Egypt, says Steven Heydemann of the U.S. Institute of Peace.  “We need to be reminding the Supreme Council constantly that they are in a transitional role, that they are in caretaker role and that they should do nothing that would jeopardize the consolidation of an inclusive, tolerant, democratic political system in Egypt," he said.

But too much pressure on the military council could lead to unintended consequences and undermine Egypt's relations with Israel, says Tawfik Hamid, a senior fellow at the Potomac Institute. “Pressuring the military now too much can really, at the end, [result in that] they may face the Islamists controlling Egypt," he said.

The latest demonstrations are the largest to take place since protests forced former President Hosni Mubarak to resign earlier this year.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid