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Washington: Egypt Going 'Way Too Far' with Brotherhood

U.S. official: Egypt’s latest crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood is a bit too much but we won’t take action.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/27/2013, 5:44 AM

Muslim Brotherhood supporters at Cairo rally
Muslim Brotherhood supporters at Cairo rally
Reuters

Washington believes that Egypt’s latest crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood is a bit too much but won’t take action against the interim government in Cairo, a United States official said Thursday.

The official, who was quoted by the Reuters news agency, said the administration believed the Egyptian government was going "way too far" in its current crackdown on the Brotherhood and its supporters.

The comments came as Egyptian authorities arrested dozens of members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The latest crackdown on the movement started a day after the Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terrorist group by Egypt’s interim government.

The official who spoke to Reuters said that the administration of President Barack Obama was not considering, or even discussing, the possibility of the U.S. government designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization as Egypt had done.

The official also said that despite its reservations about the Egyptian government's actions, the Obama administration also was not planning to take any action against Egypt or its authorities in response to the crackdown.

In October, the United States announced it would cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt to register displeasure over the military's pace of restoring democracy following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi.

U.S. law forbids sending aid to countries where a democratic government was deposed by a military coup, but until now, Washington has never qualified Morsi’s ouster as a "coup" and has been cautious about doing so, choosing only to condemn the violence in the country.