Expressing concern over recent course of events in Egypt that saw ouster of Mohammed Morsy, the U.S. has asked the country’s military to hand over powers to a democratically elected government as soon as possible.
“We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsy and suspend the Egyptian constitution,” President Barack Obama said, hours after Mr. Morsy was dethroned.
“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,” he said.
Egypt’s powerful military ousted country’s first democratically elected President Morsy, suspended the Islamist-backed constitution and unveiled a roadmap to meet people’s aspirations after the 48-hour army deadline for him expired.
The U.S. President issued the statement after meetings with his top national security advisors including the Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Mr. Obama said the U.S. 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.
Mr. Obama insisted that the U.S. 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.
Mr. Obama said the U.S. 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,” Mr. 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 Morsy.
In the interim, I urge all sides to avoid violence and come together to ensure the lasting restoration of Egypt’s democracy,” he said.
Mr. Obama said 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,” he said.
“The longstanding partnership between the U.S. 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,” Mr. Obama said.