News / Middle East

Violence, Uncertainty in Egypt Could Affect US Policy

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid