News / USA

US Condemns Violence; Kerry Says Egypt at Pivotal Moment

Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest (file photo)
Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest (file photo)
The United States has strongly condemned the violence taking place in Egypt.  The White House says violence will make the country's political transition more difficult, while Secretary of State John Kerry says Egypt is at a "pivotal moment."  
 
Secretary Kerry had strong words for the events in Egypt Wednesday, saying violence and further political polarization will not bring an answer to Egypt's problems.

"Today's events are deplorable and they run counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy.  Egyptians inside and outside of the government need to take a step back.  They need to calm the situation and avoid further loss of life," said Kerry.

Kerry and earlier the White House said the U.S. opposes the imposition of a state of emergency in Egypt, saying it should be ended as quickly as possible.

The U.S. has called on Egypt's interim government to respect basic human rights, including freedom of peaceful assembly and due process.

Saying "violence is not a solution in Egypt or anywhere else," Kerry urged Egyptian leaders to take up "constructive ideas" he said were "left on the table" by U.S. and partner nations in recent talks.

"So this is a pivotal moment for all Egyptians.  The path toward violence leads only to greater instability, economic disaster and suffering.  The only sustainable path for either side is one towards a political solution," he said.

President Barack Obama now faces renewed questions about his handling of the situation in Egypt, and his response to the ouster in July of former president Mohamed Morsi.
 
The administration has so far avoided making a legal determination that a coup took place, which would force a cutoff of $1.5 billion in economic and military aid to Egypt.

Earlier, White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest spoke to reporters in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where President Obama is vacationing with his family.
 
"The review of our assistance that is provided to Egypt is something that we do on a regular basis, and that is something that we are continuing to do, " said Earnest.

However, pressed on the aid issue, Earnest said he could concede that the violence in Egypt has accelerated a U.S. review.  He provided no details of conversations taking place "at a variety of levels" with Egypt's leaders and military.

President Obama is receiving regular briefings on Egypt from National Security Adviser Susan Rice and his national security team, while he remains on vacation in Martha's Vineyard.

  • A member of the Egyptian security forces speaks to a woman holding a stick as they clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, at the smaller of the two camps, near the Cairo University campus in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2014.
  • Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi surround a burning police car during clashes with Egyptian security forces in Cairo's Mohandessin neighborhood, Egypt,  August 14, 2013. 
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans against Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during clashes with Egyptian security forces in Cairo's Mohandessin neighborhood, Egypt, August 14, 2013. 
  • A police vehicle is pushed off of the 6th of October bridge by protesters close to the largest sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt,  August 14, 2013.
  • A member of the Egyptian security forces holds up a copy of the Quran as clear they clear the smaller of the two sit-ins by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, near the Cairo University campus in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2013.
  • Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi clash with the Egyptian security forces as the forces clear their sit-in camp in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2013. 
  • Makeshift wooden huts burn at a sit-in camp set up by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi as Egyptian security forces clear the camp near Cairo University in Cairo's Giza district, Egypt, August 14, 2013. 
  • Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi carry another as Egyptian security forces clear a sit-in camp set up near Cairo University in Cairo's Giza district, Egypt, August 14, 2013. 
  • A protester comes to the aid of a wounded comrade as security forces clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2013. 
  • Supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, stand among debris and smoke in background as they confront Egyptian security forces trying to clear the smaller of the two sit-ins, near the Cairo University campus in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday,
  • Egyptian security forces clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt,  August 14, 2013. 
  • Protesters throw stones at Egyptian security forces trying to clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt,  August 14, 2013. 
  • Egyptian security forces detain protesters as they clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2013. 
  • A wounded protester lies on the ground as Egyptian security forces clear the smaller of the two sit-ins by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, near the Cairo University campus in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2013.
  • A lightly wounded member of the Egyptian security forces talks with other officers as they clear sit-ins by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, near the Cairo University campus in Giza, Cairo, Egypt, August 14, 2013.
  • Fires burn as Egyptian security forces clear a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in the eastern Nasr City district of Cairo, Egypt,  Aug. 14, 2013. 

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by: RK from: Cali
August 15, 2013 11:56 AM
It is ridiculous to condemn Egypt for what it's doing. Does anyone condemn Abraham Lincoln for not stopping the Civil War? Unfortunately, it takes horrible bloodshed to unite a nation, as it did the United States.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 15, 2013 10:00 AM
From here we warned against an armed Muslim Brotherhood. We saw it coming. The Muslim Brotherhood was prepared. It was all along busy building siege mounds with sandbags. From TV footages of the clashes, we saw members of the Muslim Brotherhood firing bullets at the police from behind the siege mounds. The footages also revealed a hooded sniper, someone wearing mask, shooting at with the crowd or the police from the roof of a house. That was not the police. Many people, including dozens of police officers have been killed. They did not die of teargas smoke. They did not die from friendly fire. Had they heeded the warning that the Muslim Brotherhood is armed, their lives would have been saved.

What was the siege mound for if not for confrontation with security forces? The Muslim Brotherhood was well prepared but at the same time wanted to appeal to democratic societies that they were unarmed civilians. They started pushing into government buildings and ministries when the threatened crackdown was delayed and the suspense was frustrating. Having stirred the hornet’s nest by both marching onto the government ministries and shooting at the riot police that went to disperse the demonstrations, they got stung and started yelling to the outside world that the police has shot at them. But it is impossible for the police to start shooting at the protesters if the protesters did not start it.

Have the police also burnt the churches? Are the police responsible for the ministries that have been set on fire, and the shops that have been looted? The Muslim Brotherhood is indeed a ‘peaceful’ organization! By holding people hostage in demonstration camps, killing them to pretend police brutality, and killing scores of police officers, who still wants to be fooled by the Muslim Brotherhood’s crocodile tears? Who took the cache of arms in and hid it inside the camp? No! Only fools will be fooled by the Muslim Brotherhood’s games, since we know their antecedents.

by: ali baba from: new york
August 15, 2013 6:44 AM
United state should not interfere in the crisis in Egypt. the Egyptian Gov. has to do the tough decision otherwise the country will be in a civil war. From the previous interference from Us and senator especially senator McCain has a disastrous effect. Muslim brotherhood is a violent organization .unfortunately . this is the only way to deal with them
In Response

by: Mike from: AZ USA
August 15, 2013 9:29 AM
Could not agree more, the US picked the wrong side due to Obama's ignorance of how the world works and arrogance that he picked the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood who systematically murdered Christians, burned churches and tortured those that did not follow his rule. The Muslim Brotherhood needs to go and the USA needs to stay out until the dust settles.

by: oldlamb from: Guangzhou
August 15, 2013 3:51 AM
when the US government propeled the"Arab Spring" revolutions,it never expected the revolutions would lost control.The deplorable tragedies are worsening in Middle East as Syria,Egypt.It's so call that the hand which propeled the "Arab Spring" was the hand which opened the Pandora‘ Box.The violent devils and ghosts will appear every where in Middle East.

by: Mhee from: Philippines
August 15, 2013 3:50 AM
This is the disadvantages of being in a democratic Country people just go to the street and protest. I doubt if all these protesters knows what they're fighting for maybe some are just invited by friends or relatives or just have nothing to do.

by: Rumplestiltskin
August 14, 2013 6:22 PM
The Obama Administration has much to do with in-sighting the violence in Egypt.

by: x from: x
August 14, 2013 6:08 PM
Would you prefer that the battles of" radical" Islam be fought in the Mid-East, or in the streets of the U.S....or, the skyscrapers of N.Y.C.? A secular Egypt is fighting for its survival; in that, religion,politics, and government are inseparable in Islam ideology. A government the Muslim Brotherhood wishes to establish in Egypt, across the Mid-East, and elsewhere.

by: Jakob
August 14, 2013 5:20 PM
Arabs are so violent, none of the "arab spring" revolutions were peaceful or rosy. The MB has finally risen. What do you expect from a population that wants sharia law as a constitution. I expect more blood to flow in the coming years in the region...

by: Waveman25 from: Tallahassee
August 14, 2013 5:17 PM
Funny, they never condemned the brotherhood sending out rape squads or massacring copts. I wonder why that is?
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
August 15, 2013 1:39 PM
Obama has not open his mouth regarding kidnapping Copt girls and sold as a sex slave to Saudi. .now he cry for Muslim brotherhood who had 80 years in violence and there is a petition on white house to consider Muslim brotherhood as a terrorist organization. still, he heart is broken for their phony propaganda . they started the violence by attacking police. then he rush into conclusion to condemn Egyptian Gov.

by: Dr. Malek Towghi from: Michigan, USA
August 14, 2013 4:50 PM
The US condemnation of the the massacre in Egypt is nothing but shameless hypocrisy.

By refusing to call the Egyptian military coup a military coup that overthrew a democratically elected government, by continuing the annual $ 1.5 billion largesse to General El Sisis's killing machine and by encouraging its allies, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to pour in Egypt millions of dollars each AFTER the bloody coup, the Obama Administration in fact encouraged the mad Egyptian General to start and continue the bloodbath.
In Response

by: dewey duke from: florida
August 16, 2013 6:35 PM
Dr. You are so correct!!!!!!

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