Germany and the United States on Friday called for the release of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi amid mounting tensions between supporters and opponents over his overthrow.
“We call for an end to the restrictions on Mr. Morsi’s whereabouts,” a German foreign ministry spokesman told reporters, according to the AFP news agency.
The German ministry spokesman said a “trusted institution” such as the International Committee of the Red Cross should be granted access to Morsi.
The United States later joined Germany, calling on the Egyptian military and interim leaders to free Morsi for the first time since he was detained over a week ago.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States agreed with Germany’s earlier appeal for Morsi to be released and was “publicly” making the same request, according to AFP.
Psaki said that U.S. officials had been in regular contact with all sectors of Egyptian society.
Morsi is currently being held in a “safe place, for his safety” and has not yet been charged with anything, according to the Egyptian foreign ministry, but military and judicial sources say he may eventually face charges.
The German spokesman called on all groups to refrain from violence as the Muslim Brotherhood, the influential group from which Morsi emerged, vowed to keep protesting until he is reinstated.
“We and our partners are of the opinion that any appearance of selective justice in Egypt must be avoided and there must be no political persecution,” he said.
“That is not only an expression of our principles on the rule of law but also our conviction that any form of political persecution would be damaging for the future of Egypt.”
He said “a return to democracy” in Egypt could only succeed “if all political forces can take part in the democratic transformation process.”
On Wednesday, Egyptian prosecutors called for the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie.
According to Egyptian State media, Badie is charged with incitement to violence. His arrest came after days of bloodshed following Morsi’s ouster. It is not yet clear whether his arrest is linked to recent calls for an “uprising” by the Muslim Brotherhood, following the killings of more than 40 protesters outside the facility where Morsi is being held.
The White House has been cautious about calling the Egyptian military’s ousting of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi a “coup,” noting that it will need to “review what has taken place.”
A decision to brand Morsi’s ouster a coup would, by law, require the Obama administration to halt aid to the Egyptian army.
Last Saturday, President Barack Obama said the United States is “not aligned” with any political party or group in Egypt following Morsi’s ouster.
On Wednesday, officials said that the United States plans to go through with the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt in the coming weeks, despite Morsi’s overthrow.
Hours later, however, it was reported that Obama has ordered a review of U.S. assistance to Egypt’s government.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)
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