Protesters during a march in Tahrir Square in Cairo 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)
The United States and European Union called for a quick transfer of
power to a civilian government in Egypt Friday. The stepped-up rhetoric
followed the killing of over 40 civilians at the hands of Egyptian
security forces in a week that saw mass protests calling for a handover of power and led the country's caretaker government to resign.
Union condemns "excessive
violence" against protesters and expects an independent
investigation into the events in Cairo, EU foreign policy spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told a regular news
briefing in Brussels.
Cairo street battles rage on through the night
Egyptian Islamists divided over protests
European Union is deeply concerned about the critical situation in
Egypt and condemns the excessive violence committed by the Egyptian
authorities against the population," Kocijancic said.
"We urge a swift handover to civilian government and underline the need
for democratic transition to be transparent, fair and accountable. The
elections must respect the timetable that was announced."
Washington, White House press secretary Jary Carney urged the Egyptian
military, which took power following the ouster of former president
Hosni Mubarak earlier this year, to give way to civilian rule "as soon
"Full transfer of power to a civilian government
must take place in a just and inclusive manner that responds to the
legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people, as soon as possible,"
The statement, issued in the early hours of
Washington's morning to coincide with the Egyptian day, referenced
growing US concern at the week-long violence.
The United States
has called repeatedly for restraint on all sides since the violence
restarted, and made plain that it now felt compelled to harden its tone.
the situation Egypt faces requires a more fundamental solution, devised
by Egyptians, which is consistent with universal principles," Carney
said, adding "The United States strongly believes that the new Egyptian
government must be empowered with real authority immediately."
army plans to start parliamentary elections on Monday. Washington said
elections should proceed "expeditiously" with "all necessary measures"
taken to ensure security and prevent intimidation.
overcome challenges before and will do so again. The United States will
continue to stand with the Egyptian people as they build a democracy
worthy of Egypt's great history," Carney said.