Leading from Behind, Obama Urges 'Restraint' in Egypt

President Obama, who did not hesitate to take a stand against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, has urged “restraint” in Egypt and avoided addressing the question as to whether Morsi should step down.  Millions and millions of Egyptians took to the streets over the last 48 hours calling for Morsi to get out of office. 

Speaking from Tanzania yesterday, Obama suggested that Morsi needs to “reach out to the opposition and work through these issues in a political process.” He continued “It’s not the U.S. job to determine what that process is. But what we have said is, ‘Go through processes that are legitimate and observe rule of law.’ “

Obama differentiated between Mubarak and Morsi by explaining that Mubarak had not been democratically elected.  “And that’s what the people were calling for,” he said. “They went through an election process that, by all accounts, was legitimate, and Mr. Morsi was elected. And the U.S. government’s attitude has been we would deal with a democratically elected government.”

The military has given the country’s politicians 48 to solve the crisis. Morsi has rejected the ultimatum saying that he is consulting “with all national forces to secure the path of democratic change and the protection of the popular will.” 

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