US President Barack Obama said the United States is not involved with any political party or group in Egypt following the removal of Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi. White House said Obama had also condemned the ongoing violence across Egypt.
"The United States categorically rejects the false claims propagated by some in Egypt that we are working with specific political parties or movements to dictate how Egypt's transition should proceed. We remain committed to the Egyptian people and their aspirations for democracy, economy opportunity, and dignity. But the future path of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people," said the White House.
President Obama made those points during a telephone conference with the National Security Council about developments in Egypt. He was spending the weekend at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland. The White House statement repeated key assertions Obama and other U.S. officials have made since the Egyptian military ousted the democratically elected president of Egypt, calling for an inclusive process allowing for all groups and parties to participate, urging all Egyptian leaders to condemn the use of force and to prevent further violence, and urging demonstrators to conduct themselves peacefully.
The Obama administration had grown skeptical of Morsi's ability to lead Egypt. While the United States has expressed concern about the military takeover, it has not condemned it nor called it a coup, prompting speculation that the United States tacitly supports it. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke again to Egypt's defense minister, emphasizing the need for a peaceful civilian transition in Egypt and noting the importance of security for the Egyptian people, Egypt's neighbors and the region.
Secretary of State John Kerry has been in touch hourly with the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Anne W. Patterson, and has spoken in the last two days to officials in the region, the State Department said in a statement as cited by Fox News. In a separate statement, Kerry said the U.S. is deeply troubled by the violence across Egypt.
"We strongly condemn any and all incitement to violence or attempts to divide and provoke, rather than unite, all Egyptians. The United States strongly condemns the violence by all parties and urges calm," Kerry said.
Meanwhile, Egyptian state-owned Ahram Online said liberal leader Mohamed ElBaradei had not been officially appointed prime minister after several official sources said the former UN nuclear watchdog chief had been named premier.
"Interim president Adly Mansour met today with Dr. ElBaradei, but so far there has been no official appointment," presidential advisor Ahmed al-Muslimani told reporters. He added, however, that ElBaradei was the logical choice among a list of names being considered in the wake the military's ouster of Morsi. His appointment came, according to Ahram, “as an Islamist protest to demand the reinstatement of Morsi petered out at nightfall, following 24 hours of ferocious violence that killed 37 people and injured more than 1,400.”
The Pentagon said US military is in constant contact with its Egyptian counterpart, while Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the crisis in the Arab world’s most populous country threatened to degenerate into a civil war. “Syria is already in the grips of a civil war, unfortunately enough, and Egypt is moving in that direction,” Russian news agencies quoted Putin as saying while on a visit to Kazakhstan. “We would like to see the Egyptian people avoid this fate,” he said.
The Russian foreign ministry has previously called on all sides in the political crisis to exercise restraint.