US asks Egypt to address concerns of its people

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 09:18

Washington: Amid raging popular protests and a deepening political crisis in Egypt, the US has conveyed to Cairo that it needs to "listen to its people" and address their concerns, as democracy is not merely limited to conducting elections.

President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry delivered Washington`s viewpoint on the crisis to their respective counterparts in Cairo over phone.

"He (Kerry) conveyed the same message that the (US) President conveyed to his counterpart, which is that it`s important to listen to the Egyptian people. We are committed to the democratic process in Egypt and does not support any single party or group," State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said at her daily news conference.

"He stressed as well that democracy is about more than just elections. It`s also about ensuring the voices of all Egyptians are heard, and he also reiterated what our goal is, which is a peaceful, stable and prosperous Egypt. That`s what we`re all focused on," she said.
Reiterating that democracy is about more than just holding elections, Psaki said it`s about ensuring that people can have their voices heard.

"Peacefully (protesting), of course, is always the goal. You saw that the President urged President Morsi to take steps to show that he is responsive to their concerns, and the Secretary agrees that that is an important step for the government to take," she noted.

Observing that democracy takes time to flourish, she said that Morsi, at this point of time, respect the views of the people.
"You also heard the President`s call that there are concerns about violence. There are concerns about violence against women. And putting an end to that is certainly a step that can be taken on the ground," Psaki said.

Psaki said the US is on the side of the people of Egypt and not taking any sides.

"We`re on neither side. We`re on the side of the Egyptian people. We have been in touch with all sides – the opposition, with the government, with the military – and we will continue to be," she said.

"We have communicated that there`s more work that needs to done by President Morsi and others to create the conditions where everyone feels their voices are heard. We have encouraged the government to reach out to opposition and work through the political process," Psaki said.

"That`s the stage that we`re at now. Certainly more work needs to be done, and that`s been clear in all of our public and private communication," she said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 08:41

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