News / Middle East

    White House: Chaos is Alternative to Democratic Process in Egypt

    A supporter of Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak holds a defaced picture of U.S. ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson (bottom) and U.S. President Barack Obama (top) as others shout slogans against members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, before Mubarak's trial in Cairo, July 6, 2013.
    A supporter of Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak holds a defaced picture of U.S. ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson (bottom) and U.S. President Barack Obama (top) as others shout slogans against members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, before Mubarak's trial in Cairo, July 6, 2013.
    The United States continues to urge restraint by the military, and all parties and groups in Egypt, saying the alternative to an inclusive and democratic process after President Mohamed Morsi's ouster is chaos.  

    Two issues dominated Wednesday's White House news briefing: arrest orders issued for top Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders, and the determination to be made about U.S. assistance to Egypt.

    Decades-old U.S. law requires that non-humanitarian aid be suspended to a country where a military coup has occurred. Egypt currently receives about $1.5 billion in military and economic aid.

    The Obama administration refuses to attach any timeline to the process of determining whether the ouster of President Morsi was a coup.

    Press secretary Jay Carney said an immediate aid cutoff would not be in U.S. interests, adding there is an ongoing evaluation of what happened in Egypt and of "responsibilities under the law."

    There will be no rush to a decision, he said.

    "This is not a matter for political back and forth or five day deadlines alone, it is a matter for serious and cautious implementation of policy that is in the best interests of the United States and the best interests of the American people and, because that is our policy objective, in the best interests long term of the Egyptian people," said Carney.

    Carney said the U.S. is evaluating how Egyptian authorities "are responding to and handling the current situation," and he described what the U.S. - with help from partners and allies - is communicating to Egyptians.

    "The alternative is chaos, the alternative is a failure of Egypt to reach its enormous potential, the alternative is sustained disappointment among the Egyptian people about the limitations placed on their own futures," he said.

    The White House acknowledged there are major concerns about potential negative regional impacts from "a continued violent crisis in Egypt," adding that "reconciliation is the goal and compromise is the means to achieving the goal."

    Carney also defended the work of the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, who became a focus of anti-U.S. criticism in street demonstrations.

    Obama's spokesman called Patterson a "supremely skilled diplomat" who "absolutely" has the president's confidence.  

    He also rejected the notion that by engaging with the Morsi government, Patterson was somehow "picking sides," adding that as she engaged with the Morsi government, she will engage with Egypt's next democratically-elected civilian government.

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    by: Amera from: Minnesota
    July 11, 2013 5:10 PM
    Why did Morsi leave? People loved him, but now that he's gone, people who used to be Mubareks sidekicks are taking control of the over meant. So all the people who died...died for nothing.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 11, 2013 9:14 AM
    So there seems to be chaos out there? No, there is no real chaos. The problem is the people of Egypt are trying to get it right. It is a long process and involves trials and errors. They have started well, they have hit a rock, they make a turn to find the right path to follow. Right now only one blind group wants to lead the Egyptians. It is called the Muslim Brotherhood. It appears to be blind and so cannot lead the people, and lest they fall into a ditch, the people decided that the Muslim Brotherhood cannot lead the way.

    There is no chaos, you can see, as the legal luminaries - the learned ones - are now in charge All Egypt needs now is to forge ahead. They should understand that though democracy is an all-inclusive system, but it can leave some stubborn parts aside in order to move forward. If they wait to carry everyone along, including those who will not move unless they are in the lead, then they will be stagnated. Which is what Muslim Brotherhood is all about. Egypt is not in chaos but the Muslim Brotherhood is.
    In Response

    by: Amera from: Egypt
    July 11, 2013 5:12 PM
    You are blind, ma'am. Have you been to Egypt? You know knotting, so don't spread vicious rumors. You don't know people who've died. You know nothing, but what the news tells you. And guess what? The news is corrupt, controlled by the bad guys.

    by: Rose from: Canada
    July 11, 2013 1:57 AM
    The democratic process elected Morsi, the mob chaos gave the militarty the excuse they were looking for to take the democratically elected president out of office.

    The US loves to pay lip service to democracy. Too bad it doesn't actually support democracy.

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