Political inclusion required for democracy: US State Department

Mohamad Nagi
3 Min Read
US Secretary of State John Kerry supports the EU’s efforts to “calm tensions” in Egypt
US Secretary of State John Kerry supports the EU’s efforts to “calm tensions” in Egypt (AFP)

The US Secretary of State supports the EU’s efforts to “calm tensions,” and has been in close contact with regional foreign ministers to discuss Egyptian affairs.

In a Monday press briefing, US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said John Kerry has spoken with Vice-President Mohamed ElBaradei, Emirati, Turkish and Qatari foreign ministers, as well as EU High Representative Catherine Ashton.

Psaki said Kerry had a discussion with Ashton and supports her efforts to “calm tensions, prevent further violence, bridge political divides and help lay the basis for a peaceful, inclusive process.”

The spokeswoman said the inclusion of the full range of civil societies and political parties including the Muslim Brotherhood, is “vital to a successful democratic process.” Psaki said attaining this sort of inclusion is difficult if Brotherhood members are being arrested and detained, adding that Morsi’s treatment should be at a “high standard”.

Psaki said the US condemns all violence and calls on all parties to exercise restraint, move towards an inclusive political process, and focus on depolarisation.  She said the US is monitoring the level of violence in the country and that the violence is concerning.

“Violence has not and will not achieve the Egypt people’s aspirations for dignity, democratic governments and economic equality,” she said.

She said the US administration’s lack of determination towards whether former president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster was a coup does not give the “Egyptian military the green light” to do what it wants. Psaki said: “encouraging Egyptians to take steps to enable the interim government to quickly and responsibly transition back to a stable, democratic, civilian, inclusive government” is the state department’s main goal.

Psaki said the US’s aid to Egypt, approximately $1.5bn per year, most of which goes to the military, is still in the national security interests of the US.

Regarding Sinai, she said the US is concerned about the violence in the region and that “securing Sinai is vital to Egypt’s future and for the region.”

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