Thursday, July 04, 2013

Obama: Deeply concerned by removal of Morsi

During his short term in office Mohamed Morsi, an advocate of the Muslim Brotherhood and sharia law, assumed sweeping powers. Although democratically elected, his rule hardly fulfilled the promise of the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak who kept the Muslim Brotherhood at bay.  That organization is not one that respects human rights; it does not tolerate religions other than Islam.  The Morsi rule brought in an anti-West attitude -the opposite of that which existed under Mubarak.
Egypt is experiencing a counter-revolution at this time and the situation is still fluid. However, it is obvious that millions of Egyptians considered Morsi's rule offensive and his ouster appears to be a search for a different kind of government -  without the confines of the repressive Muslim Brotherhood. 
Two years ago, when demonstrations began in Egypt, President Obama advocated for a government that would include the Muslim Brotherhood and many Egyptians have felt that he has supported Morsi.  It is rather puzzling that an American President who considers himself a Christian would be supportive of an Islamist government that does not respect Christianity - among other religions.
Our crystal ball does not reveal what will happen but, hopefully, the Egyptian military that has taken over now, will help in the transition to a better choice of government for the country and improved relations with the West.  We wait and see.
President Barack Obama spoke out Tuesday on the removal of Mohammed Morsi as Egypt's president, saying he was "deeply concerned" by the decision.
Obama's full statement, via The White House:

As I have said since the Egyptian Revolution, the United States supports a set of core principles, including opposition to violence, protection of universal human rights, and reform that meets the legitimate aspirations of the people. The United States does not support particular individuals or political parties, but we are 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. The United States is monitoring the very fluid situation in Egypt, and we believe that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people. Nevertheless, we are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution. 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 Morsy and his supporters. Given today’s developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt. The United States 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 Egyptian men and women are protected, including the right to peaceful assembly, due process, and free and fair trials in civilian courts. Moreover, the goal of any political process should be a government that respects the rights of all people, majority and minority; that institutionalizes the checks and balances upon which democracy depends; and that places the interests of the people above party or faction. 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 Morsy. In the interim, I urge all sides to avoid violence and come together to ensure the lasting restoration of Egypt’s democracy.
No transition to democracy comes without difficulty, but in the end it must stay true to the will of the people. An honest, capable and representative government is what ordinary Egyptians seek and what they deserve. The longstanding partnership between the United States and Egypt is based on shared interests and values, and we will continue to work with the Egyptian people to ensure that Egypt’s transition to democracy succeeds.
Earlier Tuesday, the Egyptian military announced that it had outsted Morsi as president and replaced him with the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court. The Associated Press reports:
Egypt's military has ousted the nation's Islamist president, replacing him with the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, calling for early presidential election and suspending the Islamist-backed constitution. Army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, said a government of technocrats will be appointed to run the country during a transition period he did not specify.
An aide of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Ayman Ali, said the former leader has been moved to an undisclosed location. He gave no details.
Cheers erupted among millions of protesters nationwide who were demanding Morsi's ouster. Fireworks lit the Cairo night sky. Morsi supporters elsewhere in the city shouted "No to military rule."
A statement posted on Morsi's official Twitter account characterized the military action as a "full coup."

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