Obama Administration Condemns Violence Against Egypt Protesters
The U.S. “strongly” condemns the violent crackdown on protesters by Egypt’s military-backed government and will keep up pressure for the country’s leaders to begin a transition to democracy, a spokesman for President Barack Obama said.
Egypt’s declaration of a state of emergency and the storming of camps of protesters that left scores dead will “only make it more difficult” to move toward reconciliation in the country, Josh Earnest, deputy press secretary, said. “The violence that we saw overnight was a step in the wrong direction.”
Obama was briefed this morning on the violence by his national security adviser, Susan Rice, Earnest said on Martha’s Vineyard, a Massachusetts island where the president is vacationing.
The U.S. “will hold the interim government accountable for the promises they made” to make the transition to democratic governance, Earnest said. The U.S. still will decline to designate the military takeover of the government as a coup, he said.
Armed police broke up two sit-ins in Cairo where supporters of former President Mohamed Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood were protesting his overthrow by the military. Officials said almost 100 people were killed nationwide, while Islamist group said the toll was many times higher.
Earnest said the U.S. continues to communicate with and put pressure on the country’s leadership.
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