Barack Obama
Barack ObamaAFP photo

The White House has confirmed reports that President Barack Obama called Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi from Tanzania and spoken to him about the crisis in his country.

The US president "told President Morsi that the United States is committed to the democratic process in Egypt and does not support any single party or group," a statement from the White House said.

Obama encouraged Morsi "to take steps to show that he is responsive to their [people's] concerns, and underscored that the current crisis can only be resolved through a political process."

Leading Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer blasted Obama's neutrality in the Egyptian unrest Tuesday, summing up his commentary with the phrase “Obama the bystander again.”

He contrasted Obama's neutrality with the way he openly sided with the rebellion against former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and compared it to his refusal to support demonstrators in Iran during the so-called Green Revolution.

Mubarak was pro-American and Obama worked against him, he accused, whereas Morsi's movement is deeply anti-American and yet Obama is neutral in the rebellion against it, Krauthammer said. This is a “shocking” position that contradicts American interests, he said.