Just hours before Egypt’s Central Election Committee is expected to announce the official results of the presidential vote, the country’s foreign minister has asked US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to refrain from statements “which could be interpreted as intervening in Egypt’s internal affairs.”
Minister Muhammad Amr told Clinton in a telephone conversation Saturday evening that he was confident the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) would hand over power to the elected president by June 30, as promised. Amr said that in this “Sensitive period” for Egypt, foreign powers should avoid making statements that could be construed as intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs, establishment daily Al-Ahram reported on its website late Saturday night.
A US State Department spokesperson said they had no information on the conversation.
Earlier Saturday, a group of Egyptian liberal parties called on the US to stop trying to influence Egyptian elections, which they said was putting pressure for power to be handed to the Muslim Brotherhood.
On Wednesday, Clinton demanded that the military “support the democratic transition, to recede by turning over authority.”
According to Al-Ahram, Amr also reassured Clinton that the Egyptian army was capable of maintaining security and stability in the Sinai Peninsula, which has experienced a sharp rise in lawlessness since the Egyptian revolution last January. On June 19 an Israeli worker was killed in a cross-border attack carried out by militants belonging to a Jihadist movement.
The Associated Press and Joshua Davidovich contributed to this report.