Obama gestures as he speaks into microphone 521.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
DAR ES SALAAM - The United States put pressure on embattled
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Tuesday to listen to concerns of huge
anti-government protests, as Egypt's army planned to push the Islamist leader
aside if he fails to strike a power-sharing deal with his opponents within 24
In a phone call at the end of an African tour, US President Barack
Obama told Morsi that the political crisis can only be resolved by talks with
"President Obama encouraged President Morsi to take steps
to show that he is responsive to their concerns, and underscored that the
current crisis can only be resolved through a political process," the White
House said in a statement.
Obama urged Morsi to create an inclusive
"Democracy is about more than elections," the
statement said. "It is also about ensuring that the voices of all Egyptians are
heard and represented by their government, including the many Egyptians
demonstrating throughout the country."
Secretary of State John Kerry also called
Egypt's foreign minister Kamel Amr, the US State Department said. "He conveyed
the same message that the president conveyed to his counterpart, which is that
it's important to listen to the Egyptian people," State Department spokeswoman
Jen Psaki said.
She said a media report that Washington had urged Morsi
to hold early elections to end the crisis was inaccurate.
States played a vital role in Egypt's transition to democracy when it withdrew
support for strongman President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 in the face of mass
protests in Egypt.
It has so far stayed away from the crisis enveloping
Morsi's government, but the calls by Obama and Kerry were a clear sign that
Washington wants to push Morsi toward dialogue with the
Egypt's army has plans to push Morsi aside and suspend the
constitution if he fails to strike a power-sharing deal with his opponents
within one day, military sources told Reuters in Egypt on Tuesday.
United States is a big aid donor to Egypt and its military. Obama "told
President Morsi that the United States is committed to the democratic process in
Egypt and does not support any single party or group," the White House
Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader, was still clinging to
power with tens of thousands of people on the streets from rival factions. There
were some clashes between Morsi's Islamist supporters and those who want him
forced out after only a year in office.