Obama: Egypt not an ally or enemy

2012-09-13 16:03

Washington - President Barack Obama says the US would not consider Egypt an ally, "but we don't consider them an enemy".

Obama said in an interview with the Spanish-language network Telemundo that Egypt is a "new government that is trying to find its way". And he warned that if the Egyptian government takes actions showing "they're not taking responsibility", then it would "be a real big problem".

Meanwhile, protesters angered by an anti-Islam film stormed the US Embassy compound in Yemen's capital, Sana'a on Thursday.

They were on the embassy's grounds but did not enter the building housing the offices.

Demonstrators removed the embassy's sign on the outer wall and set tires ablaze. Once inside the compound, they brought down the US flag and burned it.


Yemen is home to al-Qaeda's most active branch and the United States is the main foreign supporter of the Yemeni government's counterterrorism campaign. The government on Tuesday announced that al-Qaeda's No 2 leader in Yemen was killed in an apparent US airstrike, a major blow to the terror network.

A senior administration official here said the protests in Yemen appeared to be motivated by the film seen by Muslims of disparaging the Prophet Muhammad. This is an observation that Obama officials did not make regarding the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Another official, also speaking anonymously, said "the situation is Yemen is fluid. We're receiving cooperation from Yemeni authorities to help us maintain order and protect our people. The protests appear to be motivated by the film".

The officials spoke only on grounds of anonymity because they weren't authorised to speak publicly about the situation amid rapidly unfolding events.

US officials, working with the Libyan government, were examining whether the armed assault on the consulate in Libya was a planned and deliberate terrorist strike, and not the spontaneous reaction to the anti-Islam video.


In a statement, the Yemeni embassy in Washington condemned the attack on the Sana'a compound.

"Given recent regional events, earlier this morning, angry protesters have unfortunately flooded the security perimeter of the US embassy in Sana'a, Yemen and breached the embassy's wall," the statement said.

"Security services have quickly restored order to the Embassy's complex. Fortunately no casualties were reported from this chaotic incident. The government of Yemen will honour international obligations to ensure the safety of diplomats and will step up security presence around all foreign missions."

Telephone calls

The White House said that Obama called the presidents of Libya and Egypt and urged them to continue working with the United States to ensure the safety of diplomatic personnel.

He thanked Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf for his condolences over the deaths of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other State Department officers during an assault on the US consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday.

The White House says the two leaders agreed to work together to bring the attackers to justice.

During a second call, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi promised that Egypt "would honor its obligation to ensure the safety of American personnel", the White House said.

Obama told Morsi that while "he rejects efforts to denigrate Islam ... there is never any justification for violence against innocents".

  • will.oosthuizen - 2012-09-14 06:10

    Will somebody please tell Obama that he is totally out of touch with reality! If Egypt were not an ally of the USA, why does the USA send $150 bil per year to the Egyptian Government? Stop attacking Mitt Romney with your lies because your foreign policy is pathetic Mr President!

      steele.oyle - 2012-09-14 07:49

      Will, The largest recipient of US aid is Israel, and even they don't get $150 billion per year. Since you re asking, Mubarak,(not Egypt) only got aid because they assisted Israel with the blockade of Gaza. Mubarak was a three decade, opposition suppressing dictator, yet he won the favor of his allies in the US. Ask Fred, he knows all about it.

      jaba.kov - 2012-09-14 08:21

      Egypt receives 2 billion per year in aid from the USA without conditions. Israel receives 3 billion per year in aid from the USA WITH conditions; ie Israel must spend the money in the US only; and if used for research & development the products made would belong to the US military exclusively. Also unknown to some, Israel is actually doing very well economically and they have tried numerous times to stop the aid from the US because of all the ‘stings attached’... (Israel has lost huge military contracts with Russia, Brazil, India & China due to US pressure. contracts worth 50 – 100 times that of the actual yearly US aid of 3 billion dollars have been lost by Israel, although the US recently allowed the contracts with India). Lastly to Steele... Mubarak did not receive aid from the USA – rather it’s the Egyptian military that has received aid from the USA... the USA did not give the Aid to Egypt in order to blockade Gaza, as the blockade of Gaza only began in 2006 after Hamas took over power (subsequent to Hamas killing Yasser Arafat) and started a war with Israel. Aid was given to Egypt three decades before Hamas started the rocket-fire unto Israel from which the blockade commenced.

  • raymon.mcnelly - 2012-09-14 07:46

    Everyone knew full well that the Muslim brotherhood would come into power after ousting Mubarak. Political analysts warned the Obama administration that this scenario is the most likely outcome, yet they (Obama and his administration) decided to support the uprising against Mubarak regime ... Mubarak was no angel, but at least he was consistent, opposed to terrorism and honored the peace treaties with Israel - an ally if you will. But once again Obama and his administration demonstrated just how incompetent they are by backing the wrong horse. Why not stay with the devil you know, than take a chance on the one you don't ? Was this foolish move to support the toppling of Mubarak intentional?

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-14 08:37

      Your colonial mindset has fooled you into believing that the US had any say on the develoments in Egypt, they didn't (they were caught off guard). They had and still do have an influence on that country's military, but even it realised quickly the mass determination of Egyptians to rid themselves of Mubarak. Joe Biden and Clinton were hesitant at first even going as far as proclaimimg that Mubarak was a good leader that needed to be given a chance, but once they realised that almost all of Egypt was determined to oust Mubarak, they dumped him like a hot potatoe, which is when they started planning their adventure in Libya and Syria, after having lost allies in both Tunisia and Egypt. The US has to come to the realisation that it won't always be able to influence the political direction of other countries, accept this and become a respected member of the community of nations.

      paulus.deboer.3 - 2012-09-14 08:48

      @fidel.. it is good and well to tell the US to stay out of other countries' politics, but we all know that a certain portion of the world does not have the same self-restraint once they control a country. Or to put it so you can understand it, Islam has a mandate, no, a responsibility given to it by it's religion, to get rid of infidels, wherever they are. Would you be happy to live under sharia law in this country?

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-14 09:09

      "Would you be happy to live under sharia law in this country?" It is not America's responsibility to protect me from Sharia law. America and self-restraint, now that's an oxy moron!

      bradley.kecskes - 2012-09-14 10:33

      Fidel has no idea of Americas history and I'm not talking 100 years or a century I'm talking about history that goes way back before America was even founded...The Americans at first have always been the hated and the ones targeted from the jealous with-in and the hating from out side....what it boils down to is this, The Americans had to learn the hard way that there will never be peace and will always be hated upon. So what do you do too survive you make the bigger guns,harder men...say what you want Fidel but i Say yes!!! it is America responsibility to protect me from some thing degenerating as Sharia law. You all under-estimate the US of A. they have not even begun using their full power. If you do not come to democracy democracy comes to you one way or another.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-14 11:09

      And that is why 'war to bring democracy' is such a non compelling proposition. The failure of democracy to control unaccountable elites in Western countries as they go on colonial rampages, murdering people - is itself the proof that the system is flawed and not worth bringing to other people through violence.... The riposte to the lie that Democracy is worth killing for lies in the corrupt system that allows the killing in the first place. You Sir is befallen with American exceptionalism!

      bradley.kecskes - 2012-09-14 13:58

      Let me put it too you like this Fidel...If the ME extremists had the power of the west (nuclear capabilities etc...) they would have got rid of every living westerner by now.....

      tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-09-17 07:20

      Bradly, you should visit these ME country's you might find the people are nicer than you think..

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