US asks Egypt to restrain security forces
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 16:45
  
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 said.

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.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 16:45


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