Obama Reviews Situation in Egypt

NSC2

According to the American Forces Press Service (AFPS), President Obama is staying in touch with the situation in Egypt by conferring with his National Security Council, the president’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters.

Here is the text of the White House release:

President Obama convened a secure conference call with the National Security Council today to review the very fluid situation in Egypt. The President condemned the ongoing violence across Egypt and expressed concern over the continued political polarization. He reiterated that the United States is not aligned with, and does not support, any particular Egyptian political party or group.

In line with that position, the United States categorically rejects the false claims propagated by some in Egypt that we are working with specific political parties or movements to dictate how Egypt’s transition should proceed. We remain committed to the Egyptian people and their aspirations for democracy, economy opportunity, and dignity. But the future path of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people.

During this transitional period, we call on all Egyptians to come together in an inclusive process that allows for the participation of all groups and political parties. Throughout that process, the United States will continue to engage the Egyptian people in a spirit of partnership, consistent with our longstanding friendship and shared interests — including our interest in a transition to sustainable democracy.

We urge all Egyptian leaders to condemn the use of force and to prevent further violence among their supporters, just as we urge all those demonstrating to do so peacefully. As Egyptians look forward, we call on all sides to bridge Egypt’s divisions, reject reprisals, and join together to restore stability and Egypt’s democracy.

According to AFPS, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little provided the following readout on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s recent conversations with officials from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates:

Yesterday and today, Secretary Hagel spoke to Egyptian Defense Minister al-Sisi on three occasions to discuss on-going events in Egypt. In their conversations, Secretary Hagel emphasized the need for a peaceful civilian transition in Egypt. He also noted the importance of security for the Egyptian people, Egypt’s neighbors, and the region.

Secretary Hagel also spoke to Crown Prince bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates today to discuss the situation in Egypt and matters of mutual security concern in the Middle East.

Added: Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement on the violence in Egypt can be read here

Lead Image: President Barack Obama meets with members of his national security team to discuss the situation in Egypt, in the Situation Room of the White House, July 3, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist