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US repeats concern over MB classification as ‘terrorist group’

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The State Department said Egypt’s leadership is tasked with creating a climate “inclusive for all parties and groups”

TOPSHOTS An Egyptian man stands amidst debris car at the site of a powerful car bomb explosion in the Egyptian city of Mansura, North of Cairo, on December 24, 2013. The bombing tore through a police building in Mansura early today, killing at least 14 people, an attack the authorities said was aimed at derailing the country's transition to democracy.   (AFP PHOTO/MAHMOUD KHALED)

An Egyptian man stands amidst debris car at the site of a powerful car bomb explosion in  Mansura on December 24, 2013. 
(AFP PHOTO/MAHMOUD KHALED)

The onus is on Egypt’s military leadership to “move the process forward and to create a climate that’s inclusive for all parties and groups in Egypt,” said the United States Department of State on Tuesday.

Deputy spokesperson for the department Marie Harf reiterated her government’s concern regarding the Egyptian cabinet’s decision to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation on 25 December, along with the ongoing detentions and arrests “including for peaceful demonstrators, civil society, and political activists”.

Secretary of State John Kerry first voiced the concerns last week to his Egyptian counterpart Nabil Fahmy in a phone call one day after the cabinet had announced that it had classified the Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

Fahmy released a statement on Monday saying that the relationship between the two countries had made positive developments from a “troubled” state but had not yet reached the desired status.

He added that Egypt’s dealing with China and Russia were not responses to turbulent US-Egypt relations, but rather part of an independent foreign policy framework that sought a “diversification of options”.

US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel called Egyptian defence minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to offer assistance in the investigations of the recent waves of bombings and discuss the “balance between security and freedom”, as Hagel stressed the “role of political inclusiveness in the democratic process”.


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