Lost in the fog of the Syria debate, Egypt is still trying to keep the obstinate Muslim Brotherhood at bay. From the Pentagon last night:
“Today Secretary Hagel called Egyptian Minister of Defense Al Sisi to discuss the US-Egyptian security relationship, the current security situation in Egypt, and progress on the political roadmap. Minister Al Sisi updated Secretary Hagel on security developments, including the Sinai peninsula, and stressed the importance of the US-Egyptian partnership against violent extremists. Secretary Hagel acknowledged Egyptian accomplishments in providing security in the Sinai and declared that the US stands with Egypt and all nations against terrorism worldwide. Secretary Hagel and Minister Al Sisi also discussed the situation in Syria, and its implications for security and stability in the region, and Secretary Hagel expressed appreciation for Al Sisi’s insights.”
After an assassination attempt on the interior minister this week, Egypt’s cabinet — which contains no Islamists, three women and three Christians — issued a joint statement vowing to stand firm against terrorism:
“In these circumstances, in which Egypt is facing danger resulting from the terrorist threat to our country, a threat which seeks to cripple Egypt through the use of violence, incitement of fear and sectarianism, the Egyptian government hereby asserts that it will continue to stand in the face of whoever tries to attack state security or the Egyptian people,” read the statement.
“Just as the state commits itself to standing in the face of threats to its security, it also affirms its strong beliefs regarding the necessity of building an Egyptian democratic system that ensures the rights and freedoms of its people,” added the statement.
Meanwhile, Egyptians partied outside the U.S. Embassy in a “good riddance” celebration at the end of U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson’s term. Patterson propped up the Muslim Brotherhood as the Tamarod protesters were gearing up to peacefully oust Mohammed Morsi.
And what’s up with Morsi? He’s been referred to a criminal court, along with many of his MB brethren. Morsi is charged with “inciting the killing of protesters” outside the Presidential Palace in December 2012. “On Tuesday, a Muslim Brotherhood member was sentenced by a military court to life in prison and 48 other members were given sentences of up to 15 years for violence against military officers in Suez,” reported Al Ahram.