Kerry: The Egyptian Army 'Saved Democracy'
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that the Egyptian army, which deposed President Mohammed Morsi, had intervened at the request of millions to protect democracy and had restored it, AFP reported.
Kerry made the remarks in a interview in Pakistan, where he earlier congratulated the new government on an historic transition of democratic power in a country long dominated by the military.
He was asked by Geo television why the United States had not taken a clear position on military intervention against Morsi’s democratically elected government.
“The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of descendance into chaos, into violence,” Kerry was quoted as having told Geo.
“And the military did not take over, to the best of our judgment - so far. To run the country, there’s a civilian government. In effect, they were restoring democracy,” he added.
The interviewer questioned him over allegations that Egyptian troops have shot dead people in the streets.
“Oh, no. That’s not restoring democracy, and we’re very, very concerned... I’ve been in touch with all of the players there. And we have made it clear that that is absolutely unacceptable, it cannot happen,” Kerry said, according to AFP.
He said the United States was working with the European Union and other countries to see if the troubles in Egypt could be resolved peacefully.
“But the story of Egypt is not finished yet, so we have to see how it unfolds in the next days,” he said.
So far, the White House has been cautious about calling the Egyptian military’s ouster of Morsi a “coup,” noting that it will need to “review what has taken place.”
Last week, the Obama administration told lawmakers that it does not plan on defining the overthrow of Egypt’s government as a coup, meaning the United States could continue providing $1.5 billion in annual military and economic aid to Egypt.
Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain said Tuesday they're traveling to Egypt next week at President Barack Obama's request, in hopes of spurring the reconciliation process there.