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White House: Obama urges Mursi to ‘be responsive’ to mass protests

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U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi to respond to issues raised by the demonstrators, the White House said on Tuesday.

The U.S. president "told President Mursi that the United States is committed to the democratic process in Egypt and does not support any single party or group," the White House said, according to Reuters news agency.

"President Obama encouraged President Mursi 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," it said in a statement.

On Monday, Obama said more work lies ahead to create an inclusive Egypt that is truly representative and responsive to its people.

Obama placed the call from Tanzania, on the final stop of his African tour and told him Washington was committed to "the democratic process in Egypt and does not support any single party or group," the official said.

“Our commitment to Egypt has never been around any particular individual or party, our commitment has been to a process,” Obama said.

The U.S. president spoke cautiously about the potential for political violence, as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in renewed protests.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials refrained from saying whether or not the United States would support such action.

“The details are up to the participants themselves. What we’re focused on is the broader goal of reconciliation between the different groups compromising so they can move forward with their transition and with their economy,” said State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell.

Readout of President Obama's call with President Mursi

July 2, 2013

President Obama called President Mursi on Monday, July 1, to convey his concerns about recent developments in Egypt. The President told President Mursi that the United States is committed to the democratic process in Egypt and does not support any single party or group. He stressed that democracy is about more than elections; 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. President Obama encouraged President Mursi 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. As he has said since the revolution, President Obama reiterated that only Egyptians can make the decisions that will determine their future.

President Obama also underscored his deep concern about violence during the demonstrations, especially sexual assaults against female citizens. He reiterated his belief that all Egyptians protesting should express themselves peacefully, and urged President Mursi to make clear to his supporters that all forms of violence are unacceptable. Finally, the President noted that he is committed to the safety of U.S. diplomats and citizens in Egypt and stressed his expectation that the Government of Egypt continue to protect U.S. diplomatic personnel and facilities.

(With Reuters and AFP)

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