US calls for halt to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood arrests

Cairo. The US has urged Egypt’s leadership to stop the “arbitrary” arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members, warning against targeting any particular group.
Mohammed Morsy supporters holding placards to demand his immediate reinstatement outside the Presidential Guard barracks where the Egyptian former leader is thought to be held. Net photo.
Mohammed Morsy supporters holding placards to demand his immediate reinstatement outside the Presidential Guard barracks where the Egyptian former leader is thought to be held. Net photo.

Cairo. The US has urged Egypt’s leadership to stop the “arbitrary” arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members, warning against targeting any particular group.

“You’re working against yourself if your effort is to be inclusive,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon also warned against the exclusion of any party.

Rival rallies were staged in Cairo on Friday amid rising tensions over the army’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsy last week.

Supporters demanding Mr Morsy’s reinstatement have continued to stage mass protests in Cairo this week near the barracks - where he is believed to be being held.

On Thursday, the Obama administration and UN both raised concerns about Egypt’s decision to issue arrest warrants for the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood - to which Mr Morsy belongs - and nine senior figures of the movement.

“The only way this is going to work successfully... is if all parties are encouraged and allowed to participate and that’s why we’ve made clear that arbitrary arrests are not anything that we can support,’’ Mr Carney said.

Mr Ban “made clear that there is no place for retribution or for the exclusion of any major party or community in Egypt,” in a telephone call with Egypt’s Foreign minister Kamel Amr on Thursday.

US state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki voiced even harsher criticism, saying the arrests contradicted reassurances they had received by the Egyptian military and authorities of inclusivity.

US policy makers would monitor the situation closely as they review decisions on assistance to Egypt, she added.

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