Shift power to elected govt, US tells Egyptian army

Expressing concern over recent course of events in Egypt that saw ouster of Mohammed Morsi, the US has asked the country's military to hand over powers to a democratically elected government as soon as possible. "We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian Armed Forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian constitution," President Barack Obama said, hours after Morsi was dethroned.

"I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters," he said. Egypt's powerful military ousted country's first democratically elected President Morsi, suspended the Islamist-backed constitution and unveiled a roadmap to meet people's aspirations after the 48-hour army deadline for him expired.

The US President issued the statement after meetings with his top national security advisors including the Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel. Obama said the US believes that ultimately the future of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people. "Given today's developments, I have also directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under US law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt," he said.

Obama insisted that the US does not support particular individuals or political parties, but is committed to the democratic process and respect for the rule of law. "Since the current unrest in Egypt began, we have called on all parties to work together to address the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people, in accordance with the democratic process, and without recourse to violence or the use of force," he said.

Obama said the US continues to believe firmly that the best foundation for lasting stability in Egypt is a democratic political order with participation from all sides and all political parties-- secular and religious, civilian and military. "During this uncertain period, we expect the military to ensure that the rights of all Egyptians are protected, including the right to peaceful assembly, due process, and free and fair trials in civilian courts," he said.

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