Situation in Egypt continues to evolve, US says

Situation in Egypt continues to evolve, US says
# 28 November 2012 04:44 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The impact of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's statement that his recent decisions are only temporary is still unclear, the US said Tuesday, APA reports.

The US is seeking further information and trying to understand what level of consultations are taking place, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Opponents of Morsi protested Tuesday across Egypt, stepping up pressure to reverse a decree making all his decisions and laws immune from legal challenge and barring courts from dissolving the Islamist-led constituent assembly, which is drafting the country's new constitution.

Nuland said it was not clear to the US precisely what was decided and whether constituencies in Egypt felt their views were taken into account. "It appears to us that the situation continues to evolve," she said.

Nuland acknowledged news reports that have speculated about loans pending in the International Monetary Fund being linked to political developments in Egypt. There is a preliminary agreement on the loans between Egypt and the IMF, but conditions for the agreement lie "primarily in the economic arena ... not in the political arena," she said.

Egypt has begun some reform measures, and the loans, if approved, "will be phased based on their continued economic reform," she said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US President Barack Obama commended Morsi for his key role in brokering a ceasefire last week between Israel and Gaza, days before Morsi's sweeping decree.

Nuland said the US has been clear in saying that the strength of the US relationship with Egypt is rooted in Washington's expectation that Egyptian leaders will advance the goals of the Egyptian people for a democratic, open country that respects the rights of all citizens.

While the US is pleased to see the Morsi administration continue Egypt's traditional mediation role in the region, Nuland said progress is needed on other aspects of the Egyptian post-revolution transition.