U.S. hails move to end Cairo's emergency

Aug. 12, 2011 at 11:34 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Egyptian moves toward lifting a state of emergency declared some 30 years ago is a step in the right direction, the U.S. State Department said.

Cairo enacted a series of political restrictions under a state of emergency declared in the wake of the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Ali el-Selmi, the Egyptian deputy prime minister, told Ahram Daily that the government was taking steps to end the 30-year-old emergency law.

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington considered the move a positive step for a post-revolution Egypt.

"It is a good thing," she said. "It's a longstanding position of the United States that the emergency law should be lifted."

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is taking steps to reform the country after Hosni Mubarak was ousted during the country's revolution early this year.

SCAF officials said parliamentary elections were set for November, though officials hadn't yet settled on a specific date, Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm reports.

Mamdouh Shahin, assistant minister of defense for legal affairs, said elections would be held over a series of three phases with 15-day intervals.

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