World Calls for Swift Move in Egypt, Obama Orders Review of Financial Aid

egypt-flagsUN leader Ban Ki-moon believed Egyptians have “legitimate concerns,” but is worried about the military’s ousting of Mursi, a spokesman said Wednesday.

“Egyptians in their protests have voiced deep frustrations and legitimate concerns. At the same time, military interference in the affairs of any state is of concern,” said deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey.

The UN secretary general “is following closely and with continuing concern the fast-moving developments in Egypt. He continues to stand with the aspirations of the Egyptian people,” said del Buey.

“An inclusive approach is essential to addressing the needs and concerns of all Egyptians. Preservation of fundamental rights, including freedom of speech and assembly, remain of vital importance,” said del Buey.
He further stated that “it will be crucial to quickly reinforce civilian rule in accordance with principles of democracy.”

“The world is watching closely the next steps with the hope that Egyptians will remain on a peaceful course, overcome the deep difficulties they are facing today, and find the needed common ground to move forward in a transition for which so many fought so courageously,” said the spokesman.
For his part, US President Barack Obama called for a swift return to elected civilian rule in Egypt, saying the United States was “deeply concerned” by the toppling of Mursi.

Obama also sent a signal to military leaders, ordering a review of the hundreds of millions of dollars in annual US aid to Egypt in light of the army’s move against Mursi.
“I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible,” Obama said, just hours after Mursi’s ouster.

In Obama’s strongest statement to date on the mounting crisis in Egypt, he also urged the powerful army to refrain from any arbitrary arrests and to protect the rights of all Egyptians.
Moving to the United Kingdom, British Foreign Secretary William Hague viewed that “the situation is clearly dangerous and we call on all sides to show restraint and avoid violence.”
“The United Kingdom does not support military intervention as a way to resolve disputes in a democratic system,” Hague said in the statement.
Despite its concerns about Wednesday’s dramatic events, Britain called on all parties to move forward and “show the leadership and vision needed to restore and renew Egypt’s democratic transition.”

“It is vital for them to respond to the strong desire of the Egyptian people for faster economic and political progress for their country,” stressed Hague.
Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Paris took note that elections had been announced in Egypt after the army ousted Mursi.
“In a situation that has worsened seriously and with extreme tension in Egypt, new elections have finally been announced, after a transition period,” Fabius said in a statement. “France takes note of it.”

France hoped a timetable would be drawn up respecting “civil peace, pluralism, individual liberties and the achievements of the democratic transition, so that the Egyptian people can freely choose their leaders and their future,” he added.
Similarly, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, condemned the bloodshed, and called for a swift return to democracy.
“I urge all sides to rapidly return to the democratic process, including the holding of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections and the approval of a constitution,” she said.

She hoped the transitional administration announced by the new regime would be fully inclusive and that human rights and the rule of law would be respected, she added.
“I strongly condemn all violent acts… and urge the security forces to do everything in their power to protect the lives and well-being of Egyptian citizens,” said Ashton.
But Saudi King Abdullah on Wednesday praised the army’s intervention and congratulated the new caretaker president Mansour.

“We call on God to help you bear the responsibility to achieve the hopes of our brotherly people in Egypt,” the head of the Sunni-ruled oil powerhouse said in his message.

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