State Department Monitoring Situation as Unrest Grows in Egypt
(CAIRO, Egypt) — Political unrest is gripping Egypt as demonstrators in Cairo and other cities are protesting against President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Egyptian protesters continue to defy a nighttime curfew set as part of the state of emergency following deadly riots.
The most dangerous riots happened in Suez, Egypt. Ten people were killed in the seaport city as anger has boiled over against the president, who opposition parties feel is trying to impose an Islamist agenda on the country.
State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland echoed White House spokesman Jay Carney’s comments of concern on Egypt, saying that the State Department is monitoring the situation with Egypt closely and calls for all sides to reach a peaceful solution.
“Given Egypt’s history with this, we are going to watch very closely how it’s supplied and the underlying need for it,” Nuland said Monday. “What is most important is that the government of Egypt respect the rights of due process of all of its citizens. That’s also something that the Egyptian people will be watching, that we’ll be watching going forward.”
She also confirmed that Congress has not yet released $450 million in economic support for various programs in Egypt. The State Department agreed to hold the support this summer after members of Congress insisted that Egypt meet certain democratic benchmarks to receive the entirety of its allotted aid.
“That money remains on hold, and we are continuing to work with the Congress to get it released,” she said.
Nuland said that security of the U.S. Embassy will continue to be evaluated on a day-to-day basis, but she would not get into details about how the State Department is evaluating security at the embassy post-Benghazi. She did say the fallout from the attack was playing a role, however.
“I’m not going to go to intelligence or other security planning, simply to say that in the, in the wake of the events that we saw in September, we’ve worked very well and carefully with Egyptian authorities on our security needs throughout our, around our perimeter, et cetera, and at our other facilities. And that cooperation will continue,” she said.
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