Egypt Protests Continue, Delegation Meets with U.S. Officials
Tanks and armored troop carriers were deployed to the presidential palace in Cairo following a night of violent clashes between opponents and supporters of President Mohammed Morsi. General Mohamed Zaki stated that the armed forces would not be used to oppress demonstrators. Four of Morsi’s advisers resigned on December 5, meaning a total of six have now abandoned their positions on his 17-member advisory panel. Morsi is expected to deliver a televised address to the nation on the evening of December 6.
In Washington, Morsi adviser Essam al-Haddad led a delegation that met with U.S. officials to discuss the situation in Egypt and the cease-fire in Gaza. “We are going to be a democratic, modern, civil state,” al-Haddad stressed. “If you could find all the excuses to support the dictatorship for 30 years … I think it will be much easier to support a democracy in Egypt,” he added. However, the Obama Administration has expressed concern over domestic repression in Egypt, especially concerning secular and liberal movements. The White House called ”on all sides to allow for a peaceful process,” and pursue a constitution that “reflects the will of the Egyptian people and upholds Egypt’s international human rights responsibilities and commitments.”
“We could be more optimistic if events in Egypt supported Mr. Haddad’s rhetoric better,” wrote Carol Giacomo. “The country is in the midst of the worst political crisis since the 2011 revolution … Morsi is adopting tactics and policies that invoke inevitable comparison to his autocratic predecessor,” Giacomo said. “Under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood and … Morsi, Egypt is headed for another train wreck that will devastate the lives of its own citizens,” cautioned Michael Armanious of the Gatestone Institute. “Western leaders cannot afford to sleep through this; the consequences are simply too grave,” he concluded.