|Tahrir Sqaure on Thursday © AFP/File Odd Andersen|
WASHINGTON (AFP) – With violence gripping the streets of Cairo, the United States demanded Friday a speedy handover of power to a civilian government in Egypt, giving it real authority immediately.
In a written statement, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the administration of President Barack Obama believed “that the 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.”
Ganzuri headed the government from 1996 to 1999 under ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
The reports of his appointment came after the ruling military council on Tuesday accepted the resignation of caretaker premier Essam Sharaf’s cabinet, amid spiralling unrest, and invited the country’s political forces for crisis talks on the formation of a “national salvation” government.
There was no immediate official confirmation but Al-Ahram newspaper said on its website that Ganzuri had agreed to lead a government of national salvation.
Pro-democracy groups, for their part, have proposed a national salvation government made up of a civilian council to include ex-Arab League chief Amr Mussa and former International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei.
The White House statement contained no specific endorsement. But it said that the United States strongly believed that “the new Egyptian government must be empowered with real authority immediately.”
“We believe that Egypt’s transition to democracy must continue, with elections proceeding expeditiously, and all necessary measures taken to ensure security and prevent intimidation,” the statement went on to say.
Meanwhile, thousands of Egyptians streamed into Tahrir Square again on Friday to demand the end of military rule. The death toll from the wave of violence has reached 41, according to the country’s health ministry.
Carney recalled that the United States had condemned the “excessive use of force” against demonstrators and called for restraint on all sides.
He said the United States deeply regretted the loss of life during these protests and urged the Egyptian authorities “to implement an independent investigation into the circumstances of those deaths.”
But he added that the situation in Egypt required “a more fundamental solution, devised by Egyptians,” which would be consistent with universal principles.
The press secretary assured that the United States will “continue to stand with the Egyptian people as they build a democracy worthy of Egypt’s great history.”
© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license
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