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Kerry Tries to Clarify Comments on Egypt

Kerry attempts to explain what he meant when he said that the Egyptian army intervened to "save democracy."
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 8/3/2013, 12:15 AM

John Kerry
John Kerry
Flash 90

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sought on Friday to clarify controversial remarks he made about the crisis in Egypt, reported the Associated Press.

A day earlier, Kerry said in a TV interview that the Egyptian army, which deposed President Mohammed Morsi, had intervened at the request of millions to protect democracy and had restored it.

Asked by Pakistan’s Geo television why the United States had not taken a clear position on military intervention against Morsi’s democratically elected government, he responded, “The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of descendance into chaos, into violence.”

“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.

Kerry’s comment was seen by some as a signal the U.S. was siding with the military, even though the State Department has repeatedly said the U.S. is not taking sides.

President Barack Obama said shortly after the army deposed Morsi that the United States was “not aligned” with any political party or group in Egypt.

Kerry said Friday in London that all of the parties — the military as well as pro-Morsi supporters — should be inclusive and work toward a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

“The last thing that we want is more violence,” he clarified, according to AP. “The temporary government has a responsibility with respect to demonstrators to give them the space to be able to demonstrate in peace. But at the same time, the demonstrators have a responsibility not to stop everything from proceeding in Egypt.”

A spokesman of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Gehad el-Haddad, denounced Kerry’s remarks.

“Does Secretary Kerry accept Defense Secretary (Chuck) Hagel to step in and remove Obama if large protests take place in America?” El-Haddad said.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)