US urges Egypt to return to “civilian-led, democratically elected government”

US urges Egypt to return to “civilian-led, democratically elected government”

General commander of the armed forces Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi meeting deputy secretary of state William Burns to discuss the Egyptian political scene last Monday

General commander of the armed forces Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi meeting deputy secretary of state William Burns to discuss the Egyptian political scene last Monday

The United States is still determining how to label the events in Egypt, and reiterates its call for a quick return to a “sustainable demoncracy,” according to government press briefings on Wednesday.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the US has made it clear to Egypt’s interim authorities that a quick return to a democratically elected civilian government, one that is inclusive and represents all Egyptians, is “the answer to a better future for Egypt.”

Carney said the US is engaging with Egypt’s interim authorities. “Our interests and support is not for an individual party or group,” he said.

Marie Harf, Deputy Spokeswoman of the State Department, said, “we will work with all parties and groups.”

In the first official visit of an American official after the 3 July ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns held a phone call with a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood. Harf said it was part of “broad efforts in engaging everyone.”

Harf also said discussions about financial assistance are still on-going and that the US is in the process of evaluating its policy.

She added that a determination on whether what happened in Egypt was a coup is pending. “People are looking at the facts right now, they’re looking at what happened, and the question of whether we will use that designation has not yet been answered,” she said. She added that no timeline has been set to make this determination.

Carney said, “I’ve been quite candid about it, we will not act precipitously on this designation because we do not think it would be in our interest to do so.”

Since his removal from power, the whereabouts of Morsi are unknown. Egypt’s foreign ministry had stated that he was being kept in a safe place, and that no charges have been brought against him. Carney said it is essential that the Egyptian government does not carry out arbitrary arrests and that it releases people being held without charges, including Morsi.

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