August 15, 2013
Secretary of State John Kerry provided the administration's most thorough response so far to Wednesday's bloodshed in Egypt. The clashes, the result of the military's violent crackdown on pro-Morsi protesters, killed at least 278 and injured 2,000, by the military's count, and the country is now under emergency law for one month, reminding many of the decades the country spent under emergency law during the reign of Hosni Mubarak. For weeks, the U.S. has stepped up the strength of language in its response to the Egypt crisis, but it doesn't look like its ready to put on the table the $1 billion in annual aid the U.S. gives to Egypt, at least not yet. Instead, the U.S., via Kerry, "strongly condemns" the violence in the country. The issue of aid is under "review." Some, however, are wondering what the U.S. could possibly be waiting for.
Kerry's remarks focused on "constructive" interventions from the U.S., which is pretty similar to the administration's earlier efforts to quietly promote a transition to democracy in the wake of the latest unrest:
The United States strongly supports the Egyptian people's hope for a prompt and sustainable transition to an inclusive, tolerant, civilian-led democracy. Deputy Secretary of State Burns, together with our EU colleagues, provided constructive ideas and left them on the table during our talks in Cairo last week. From my many phone calls with many Egyptians, I believe they know full well what a constructive process would look like. The interim government and the military, which together possess the preponderance of power in this confrontation, have a unique responsibility to prevent further violence and to offer constructive options for an inclusive, peaceful process across the entire political spectrum. This includes amending the constitution, holding parliamentary and presidential elections, which the interim government itself has called for.
Read more at The Atlantic Wire.
August 15, 2013