Obama speaks to Qatar, UAE leaders on Egypt

Obama speaks to Qatar, UAE leaders on Egypt
Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:17:07

US President Barack Obama has spoken by phone to the leaders of Qatar and the UAE to discuss concerns about violent protests in Egypt.

The Tuesday phone calls came as Persian Gulf Arab states offered $8 billion in aid to Cairo in the wake of a military overthrow.

The White House has said it will not immediately cut off aid to Egypt as it reviews the tense and evolving situation. 

"The President encouraged the UAE to underscore in its engagements with Egyptians the importance of avoiding violence and taking steps to enable dialogue and reconciliation," the White House said in a Tuesday statement about Obama's call with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

"The President and Emir Tamim agreed that a political process that includes participation by all parties and groups is critical for Egypt's stability," the White House said in a separate statement about Obama's call with Qatar's Emir.

The United States has cautiously welcomed a plan by Egypt's interim government to hold quick elections but has not addressed what White House spokesman Jay Carney called "the elephant in the room" of whether a coup had taken place.

By law, the US government would be required to halt aid to Egypt if the military intervention was labeled a coup.

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