US denies dictating to Egypt

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WASHINGTON - The US is not trying to dictate anything on how Egypt should move out of the crisis engulfing it, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley has said.

He was responding to criticism by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit that the US is imposing its will on Egypt by dictating on how to move on through the crisis, Xinhua reported.

“We’re not trying to dictate anything,” Crowley said at a regular press briefing Wednesday.

“As we’ve said and emphasised many times, there will be an Egyptian solution, you know, and Egyptian actions within this orderly transition.”

Since mass anti-government protests erupted Jan 25 in Egypt, calling for free and fair elections as well as an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule, US President Barack Obama and other top officials have oftentimes made public calls, at first for immediate transition but later for orderly transition.

In his latest phone call to his Egyptian counterpart Omar Suleiman Tuesday, US Vice President Joe Biden called for an orderly transition in Egypt that is “prompt, meaningful, peaceful, and legitimate”.

In an interview with American PBS television Wednesday, Gheit said: “When you speak about prompt, immediate, now — as if you are imposing on a great country like Egypt, a great friend that has always maintained the best of relationship with the United States, you are imposing your will on him.”

Crowley said he does not see Biden’s call for immediate repealing of the emergency law as interference, arguing that the vice president’s discussions with Suleiman “are the kinds of, you know, very specific and irreversible steps that we believe the people of Egypt are looking for”.

“What we’re doing is commenting on unfolding events in Egypt, consistent with both our policies and our values,” he added. “We are providing our best perspective on what the government needs to do, you know, to meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people.”

“With all due respect to the foreign minister, he should not be amazed, if that’s the word that he used, at our call for rescinding the emergency law,” the spokesman argued. “We have been calling for that for years, if not decades.”

Filed under: Diplomacy

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