AFP – The United States “strongly” condemned Friday’s bombings in Egypt and appealed for calm on the eve of the third anniversary of the Egyptian revolution.
Washington has been walking on eggshells for three years with its key ally in the Arab world, and it froze part of its military aid after Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was overthrown.
“We strongly condemn the terrorist attacks that took place in Egypt today,” the State Department said, urging that the bombings “be investigated fully and the perpetrators … be brought to justice.”
“We urge all Egyptians to exercise calm and restraint ahead of the third anniversary of Egypt’s revolution,” it added.
Egypt’s uprising began on January 25, 2011 and resulted, 18 days later, in the overthrow of long-standing strongman Hosni Mubarak.
Washington, as it has for months, pleaded that Egypt’s political crisis be resolved with a peaceful “political transition … respecting the rights of all Egyptians.”
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who had tried unsuccessfully to mediate between Morsi’s supporters and the interim government in August, also condemned the bombings. “Violence will not bring Egypt any closer to the people’s desire for a democratic country,” she said.
A car bomb struck Cairo police headquarters on Friday, the first of four blasts targeting police in Egypt’s capital, killing six people.
Attacks against security forces have increased since the July 3 ouster of Morsi, Egypt’s only democratically-elected president, and the crackdown on his supporters.
Over the weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry called on Cairo to put into practice the rights guaranteed in its new constitution, shortly after voters approved it in a national referendum.
But the United States hasn’t yet decided if it will unfreeze a part of its $1.55 billion aid to Cairo, the State Department had said.
Meanwhile, in a sign of the tensions between the two allies, US President Barack Obama invited the leaders of 47 African countries to a White House summit on August 5 and 6 — but Egypt, which has been suspended from the African Union, was not included.
Cairo said it was “very surprised” by the decision and called it a “mistake.”