Obama asks Egypt military to quickly return to democratic govt

Washington, PTI | Updated : 04 July 2013, 12:10 PM

Expressing concern over the political upheaval in Egypt that saw ouster of Mohammed Morsi, US President Barack Obama has asked the Egyptian military to hand over powers to a democratically elected government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process.

"We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian constitution," Obama said, hours after Morsi was ousted.

"I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters," he said.

Egypt's powerful military yesterday ousted country's first democratically elected President Morsi, suspended the Islamist-backed constitution and unveiled a roadmap to meet people's aspirations after the 48-hour army deadline for him expired.

The US President issued the statement after meetings with his top national security advisors, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Obama said the US believes that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people.

"Given today's developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under US law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt," he said.

Obama insisted that the US does not support particular individuals or political parties, but is committed to the democratic process and respect for the rule of law.

"Since the current unrest in Egypt began, we have called on all parties to work together to address the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people, in accordance with the democratic process, and without recourse to violence or the use of force," he said.

Obama said the US continues to believe firmly that the best foundation for lasting stability in Egypt is a democratic political order with participation from all sides and all political parties-- secular and religious, civilian and military.

"During this uncertain period, we expect the military to ensure that the rights of all Egyptians are protected, including the right to peaceful assembly, due process, and free and fair trials in civilian courts," he said.

"Moreover, the goal of any political process should be a government that respects the rights of all people, be it majority and minority, institutionalises the checks and balances upon which democracy depends, and places the interests of the people above party or faction," Obama said.

"The voices of all those who have protested peacefully must be heard, including those who welcomed today's developments, and those who have supported President Morsi.

"In the interim, I urge all sides to avoid violence and come together to ensure the lasting restoration of Egypt's democracy," he said.

First Published: Thursday, July 04, 2013 12:09 PM
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