International community stresses importance of democratic path in Egypt

International community stresses importance of democratic path in Egypt

Anti-Morsi Protesters at Tahrir Square July 02, 2013 (Photo by Aaron T Rose)

Anti-Morsi Protesters at Tahrir Square July 02, 2013
(Photo by Aaron T Rose)

The international community has responded to Wednesday’s ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi with a mixture of concern and hope for the future of Egypt. All stressed the need for Egypt to follow a democratic path in the coming transitional period.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s spokesperson published a statement on Wednesday expressing concern over the situation in Egypt. Moon appealed for “calm, non-violence, dialogue and restraint.” He highlighted the importance of including the opinions of all Egyptians and the preservation of “fundamental rights.”

Arab League Secretary General congratulated the Egyptian people on their “historic achievement.” He also “extended greetings” to the Egyptian military calling on it to put the interests of the nation first. He stressed “the need to avoid mistakes of the preceding transition period.” He called for an all-inclusive transition and warned against violence.

The United Arab Emirates foreign ministry published a statement on Thursday saying it “is following with satisfaction developments in Egypt.” Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “the UAE has full confidence that the great people of Egypt will be able to overcome the difficult moments that the country is experiencing.”

United States President Barack Obama said in a statement on Wednesday that the US is “deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian armed forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian constitution.” He then called on the military to take swift action “to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process.” He also highlighted the importance of avoiding “any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters.”

Obama also “directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under US law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.” He too warned against violence and highlighted the importance of the democratic path.

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague was concerned about the situation in Egypt. Speaking on Wednesday, he described the situation as “clearly dangerous.” He stressed: “the UK does not support military intervention as a way to resolve disputes in a democratic system.” He then called for “all parties to show the leadership and vision needed to restore and renew Egypt’s democratic transition.” He said this process must include “all groups on an equal footing leading to early and fair elections which all parties are able to contest, and a civilian-led government.”

European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton released a statement on Thursday morning. She urged “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.”

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