U.S. not lecturing Egypt on democracy

July 16, 2013 at 9:41 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 16 (UPI) -- U.S. diplomats aren't offering any lectures on democracy to any particular group in the interim Egyptian government, the U.S. State Department said.

Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met with interim political leaders in Egypt to discuss the country's post-revolutionary political crisis. Egyptian leaders are working to plot a new political course in the wake of the July 3 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

Burns said during a Monday news conference from Cairo the U.S. government remains "deeply committed" to Egyptian democracy.

"We want a strong Egypt; an Egypt which is stable, democratic, inclusive, and tolerant; an Egypt which addresses the needs and respects the rights of all of its citizens," he said in a statement. "That is the Egypt that Egyptians deserve."

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said during her regular press conference Burns met with interim ministers, including former U.N. chief nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei, but not with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization from which Morsi hails.

Psaki said Burns was in Egypt to discuss an Egyptian-led process and was not there "to lecture anyone."

The U.S. government stopped short of describing Morsi's ouster as a military coup so that it would not have to amend its military aid relationship with the Egyptian government.

Psaki said the U.S. government is "concerned" by ongoing political violence in Egypt, "but we'll take it day by day and communicate our concerns and our urgings as needed."

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