News / Middle East

US Urges Egyptian Military to Use Restraint

The United States on Monday condemned violence in Egypt, and urged the military to use maximum restraint.  The U.S. is urging Egyptians to come together to overcome political divisions, and to remain engaged in the political process. 
 
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the United States remains deeply concerned by increasing violence across Egypt and a "dangerous level of political polarization."
 
His remarks came amid reports Monday of the worst incident of violence since President Mohamed Morsi's ouster last week by Egypt's military. 
 
Soldiers and police clashed with Muslim Brotherhood supporters outside a Republican Guard building in Cairo. At least 51 people were killed, many more were injured.
 
Carney expressed condolences for those killed and wounded.  He urged Egypt's military to exercise restraint, and specifically condemned calls to violence by the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Saying Egypt's "stability and democratic political order are at stake," Carney said Egypt "will not emerge from this crisis unless its people come together to find a non-violent and inclusive path forward."
 
"The United States is not aligned with nor is it supporting any particular political party or group.  We remain actively engaged with all sides, and we are committed to supporting the Egyptian people as they seek to salvage their nascent democracy," he said. 
 
At the State Department, spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed that U.S. contacts with all parties in Egypt include the Muslim Brotherhood and Freedom and Justice Party, but she would provide no further details of conversations.
 
Psaki was on the defensive as she responded to reporters asking why the Muslim Brotherhood should heed U.S. calls to engage in the political process after President Morsi's ouster.
 
"A democratic process is not just about casting your ballot. There are other factors in terms of - in addition to that, including how somebody behaves and how they govern. And this is a case where millions of people have spoken in the country. We are not judging that, but again, that's a real factor here," she said. 
 
Much of Monday's White House news briefing was devoted to questions about a critical decision facing President Obama and the U.S. Congress - whether to suspend $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt.
 
U.S. law requires suspension of aid if it is determined a democratically elected government has been overthrown.
 
Carney said the Obama administration does not believe any precipitous suspension of aid would be in the interests of the United States, but he said high-level consultations are continuing.
 
"We think, not just I, it would not be in the best interests of the United States to do that. We are reviewing our obligations under the law and we will be consulting with Congress about the way forward with regards specifically to the aid package that we provide," he said. 
 
Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy says President Obama and U.S. policy face some tough challenges in the current situation in Egypt.
 
"The challenge for doing policy in this environment is that the Muslim Brotherhood is not going to be willing to accept any scenario in which Morsi is not re-instated as president because they view his ouster as something that was stolen from them.  At the same time, the military by removing Morsi I think understands very well that is has no choice but to launch a full-out assault on the Brotherhood.  In that kind of situation where both sides are really digging their heals in and have absolutes that are mutually exclusive, it is very hard for the United States to exert leverage with either party," he said. 
 
White House spokesman Carney said Monday a transitional period in Egypt must be "defined by reconciliation rather than reprisals or rejection of the political process."
 
The U.S. called on Egypt's military to avoid arrests targeting specific groups or movements, and avoid restrictions on the media, and urged political parties and movements to remain engaged in dialogue.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

US Urges Taliban to Stay With Afghan Peace Talks

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs