US asks Egypt to restrain security forces

The US has asked the country`s military leaders to restrain security forces and hand over power to civilians.

Updated: Nov 23, 2011, 16:45 PM IST

Washington: Condemning the use of "excess"
force by police in Egypt following deadly clashes with
protesters, the US has asked the country`s military leaders to
restrain security forces and hand over power to civilians.

"The United States remains very concerned about the
violence in Egypt. We condemn the excessive force used by the
police, and we strongly urge the Egyptian Government to
exercise maximum restraint, to discipline its forces, and to
protect the universal rights of all Egyptians to peacefully
express themselves," State Department spokesperson Victoria
Nuland told reporters yesterday at a news conference.

"While all parties in Egypt need to remain committed to
nonviolence, the US believes that the Egyptian Government has
a particular responsibility to restrain security forces and to
allow the Egyptian people to peacefully express themselves,"
she said.

The deadly clashes has left 35 people dead in the last
four days.

Referring to the announcements made by the top
Egyptian military leader General Tantawi in which he said that
the Egyptian military intends to hand power back to civilians,
Nuland said "we are looking forward to the naming of a new
Egyptian government.

"That government`s first responsibility will obviously be
to organise and ensure that free and fair elections do move
forward in a peaceful environment to allow for the credible
transition to democracy that the Egyptian people want," Nuland

With tens of thousands of people continued to protest at
the Tahriri Square in the capital, Cairo, Deputy National
Security Advisor for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes asked
the Egyptian military to listen to the will of its people.

"I think the most important thing for the Egyptian
military council to do is to listen to the Egyptian people.
The Egyptian people are ultimately going to provide the basis
for how Egypt moves forward," the Deputy National Security
Advisor told foreign journalists.

"They`re going to be the ones who determine the
outcome of this transition. So in our discussions with the
Egyptian military, what we express very much is that there
needs to be a process and a transition to democracy that’s
responsive to the Egyptian people," Rhodes said in response to
a question at the Washington Foreign Press Center.

"Frankly, as we`ve seen throughout the region, violence
is not an effective means of addressing grievances. There
needs to be a process of transition. So that will continue to
be our message to the Egyptian Government, the Egyptian
military," he noted.

Maintaining that the US has had a very deep and
long-standing relationship with the Egyptian military, Rhodes
said the US believe that this allows them to have
communications with the Egyptian Government and allows to
maintain a basis for consultation going forward.