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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 6th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Violence in Egypt

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 6, 2013

The United States is deeply troubled by the violence across Egypt. We strongly condemn any and all incitement to violence or attempts to divide and provoke, rather than unite, all Egyptians. The United States strongly condemns the violence by all parties and urges calm. At the same time, we firmly reject the unfounded and false claims by some in Egypt that the United States supports the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood or any specific Egyptian political party or movement. The United States has always been and remains committed to the democratic process, not to any party or personality. We want Egyptians to make their democracy work for the good of all Egyptians. At this sensitive moment, we call on all Egyptian leaders to condemn the use of force and prevent further violence among their supporters and we urge all those demonstrating to do so peacefully.

The United States wants to see Egypt’s ongoing transition succeed for the benefit of the Egyptian people. The Egyptians themselves must come together and make the tough decisions necessary for that to happen. As I said in March when I was in Cairo, the United States supports the people of Egypt in their continued transition to a stable, sovereign Egyptian democracy. The only solution to the current impasse is for all parties to work together peacefully to address the many legitimate concerns and needs of the people and to ensure Egypt has a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the millions of Egyptians who have taken to the streets to demand a better future. Lasting stability in Egypt will only be achieved through a transparent and inclusive democratic process with participation from all sides and all political parties. This process must also ensure that the rights of all Egyptian men and women are protected, including the right to peaceful assembly, due process, and free and fair trials in civilian courts.

The Egyptian people seek and deserve an honest, capable and representative democratic government. As President Obama has said, “no transition to democracy comes without difficulty, but in the end it must stay true to the will of the people.” The longstanding partnership and friendship between the United States and Egypt is of great importance to the United States, and we will continue to support the Egyptian people to ensure that Egypt’s transition to democracy succeeds.

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from the UK – “USA may block the import of vegetables and flowers from Ecuador if they gives asylum to Snowden”

France and Italy on Thursday turned down Snowden’s requests for asylum.

Another country that has seemed supportive of Snowden’s quest for a new home is Bolivia, whose president has expressed anger at the United States over an incident involving the presidential plane and a rumor about Snowden.

Several European countries refused to allow President Evo Morales’ plane through their airspace Tuesday because of suspicions Snowden was aboard. With no clear path home available, the flight crew made an emergency landing in Vienna, Austria, where authorities confirmed Snowden was not a passenger.

Bolivia’s asylum offer is a “fair protest” to the incident, which involved Portugal, Italy, France and Spain, Morales said. Spain has said it did not restrict its airspace during that flight.

He put the blame squarely on the United States for the incident.

“Message to the Americans: The empire and its servants will never be able to intimidate or scare us,” Morales told supporters at El Alto International Airport outside La Paz, where he arrived late Wednesday. “European countries need to liberate themselves from the imperialism of the Americans.”

Morales said officials should analyze whether to shut the U.S. Embassy in his country.

“Without the United States,” he said, “we are better politically and democratically.”

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa joined Morales in criticizing the United States’ role in the situation, and Venezuela’s Maduro blamed the CIA for pressuring the European governments to refuse to grant the plane passage.

===============================================================
THE SNOWDEN AFFAIR:

(CNN) — The father of Edward J. Snowden has offered federal authorities a deal that he says would likely lead the accused leaker to return voluntarily to the United States to face espionage charges.

The proposal was laid out in a letter, dated Thursday and obtained Friday by CNN’s “Amanpour,” addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder and written by Bruce Fein, a Washington-based lawyer for Snowden’s father, Lonnie G. Snowden.

It demands that the former National Security Agency computer contractor who exposed details about U.S. surveillance programs remain free prior to trial; not be subject to a gag order; and be tried in a place of his choosing.

It further demands that, if any of those promises is broken, the prosecution would be dismissed.

“With these written representations and guarantee, Mr. Snowden is reasonably confident that his son could be persuaded to surrender voluntarily to the jurisdiction of the United States to face trial,” Fein wrote.

The Justice Department has no immediate comment.

In comments Friday to NBC News’ “Today,” the elder Snowden said he had not spoken with his son since April.

“I love him, I would like to have the opportunity to communicate with him. I don’t want to put him in peril, but I am concerned about those who surround him,” he said.

Though the 30-year-old man may have betrayed his government, “I don’t believe he has betrayed the people of the United States,” he said.

He expressed concern that his son might have been manipulated by WikiLeaks. “Their focus isn’t necessarily the Constitution of the United States,” he said. “It’s simply to release as much information as possible.”

A day after authorities in Ecuador said they would not bow to U.S. pressure as they weigh Snowden’s request for asylum, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell denied any “bullying” tactics had been used.

“The point is just that we are making a consistent point to any government that might take him as a final destination that this is somebody wanted on serious felony charges and we would like him returned to the United States,” Ventrell told reporters Friday in response to a question from CNN’s Jill Dougherty.

Obama: Pay no attention to that man we can’t capture

He was referring to his warning Thursday that Ecuador’s economic ties with the United States could be jeopardized.

“What would not be a good thing is them granting Mr. Snowden asylum,” Ventrell had said. “That would have grave difficulties for a bilateral relationship.”

Ventrell then cited trade agreements the United States has extended to Ecuador.

“They’re unilateral trade provisions that provide a benefit to certain Ecuadorian products,” Ventrell said. “Whether they’re renewed or not is a prerogative of the U.S. Congress.”

Asked about that remark, Ventrell said Friday, “I wouldn’t call it a threat. I’d say that, you know, we are making the same points in public that we are making in private — that this is somebody accused of serious crimes that we want returned.”

The warning sparked a strong response on Thursday from Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, at an event in Quevedo.

“It is outrageous to try to delegitimize a state for receiving a petition of asylum,” said the left-leaning economist who is known for decrying what he and other Latin American leaders have called U.S. imperialism.

And on Friday, the Embassy of Ecuador announced that the country had suspended its support for the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, which provided duty-free treatment for certain products.

U.S. asks Ecuador to reject any asylum request from Snowden

“As we have stated previously, any political or economic consequences of our decision regarding the asylum request are outweighed by our legal and humanitarian obligations,” an embassy statement said.

Last year, Ecuador granted asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who remains in the nation’s embassy in Britain.

Ecuador’s rationale appeared to have won support from former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. If another country wants to give haven to Snowden, “then that is their right as a sovereign nation,” he told CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux. “If the United States can acquire custody of him, I’m sure he will be brought to trial, and that’s the way the law should be implemented.”

Snowden’s acts may have some positive impact, Carter said.

“He’s obviously violated the laws of America, for which he’s responsible, but I think the invasion of human rights and American privacy has gone too far,” he said.

“I think that the secrecy that has been surrounding this invasion of privacy has been excessive, so I think that the bringing of it to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial.”

Asked to elaborate, he said, “I think the American people deserve to know what their Congress is doing.”

Snowden has been at Moscow’s international airport since Sunday, when he arrived from Hong Kong.

Europe furious, ‘shocked’ by report of U.S. spying

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