Obama to Egypt: “Arrest Muslim Brotherhood Leaders and We’ll Cut Off Your Foreign Aid”. Navy Warships in Red Sea Close In!
July 12th, 2013
The Obama administration on Thursday sharpened its criticism of the Egyptian military and interim government’s arrests of supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, saying the continuing detentions are inconsistent with pledges of inclusivity made by authorities and may affect future US assistance.
While the administration has determined it is not in US national security interests to make any immediate changes to its aid program, officials said the continuing arrests of members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and political party are troubling. The criticism is some of the most severe of Egypt’s new leadership since Morsi was toppled last week and came a day after arrest warrants were issued for the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader and nine other Islamists accused of inciting violence.
The White House and State Department both warned against targeting any particular group in the aftermath of Morsi’s overthrow, calling it self-defeating and counter to the idea of restoring a democratically election civilian government.
“The only way this is going to work successfully for the Egyptian people is if all parties are encouraged and allowed to participate and that’s why we’ve made clear that arbitrary arrests are not anything that we can support,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said. “We could not support those, because if you’re arresting individuals from one group or one party, you’re working against yourself if your effort is to be inclusive as you make this transition back to a civilian, democratically elected government.”
At the State Department, spokeswoman Jen Psaki echoed those comments and went further, saying that the arrests contradicted assurances given to US officials by the Egyptian military and members of the interim government.
“The arrests we’ve seen, of course, over the past several days targeting specific groups are not in line with the national reconciliation that the interim government and military say they are pursuing,” she said. “If politicized arrests and detentions continue, it is hard to see how Egypt will move beyond this crisis.”