US orders diplomats to leave Egypt after military coup

Opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi protest in the coastal city of Alexandria on June 28, 2013.

The U.S. State Department is ordering nonessential U.S. diplomats and the families of all American Embassy personnel to leave Egypt following a military coup that removed President Mohamed Morsi from power.

The State Department has placed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on departure status, an American official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

It is not clear at this point whether an evacuation operation is under way and if embassy personnel would use commercial airlines or passenger ships.

On Wednesday, Egyptian military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted President Morsi and suspended the country’s constitution.

After days of unrest and only hours before Morsi was removed from power, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki finally spoke out to criticize Morsi for failing to address the Egyptian people’s concerns.

Morsi has been detained in a military facility along with a number of top aides, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood said Thursday.

Army troops have been deployed throughout the country to respond to clashes between Morsi’s supporters and opponents.

The ouster of Egypt’s first democratically elected president by a military coup could present Washington with a dilemma and could affect the $1.3 billion U.S. annual military aid to Egypt.

In an op-ed for Foreign Policy magazine on Wednesday, Republican senator Ted Cruz called Washington’s backing of Morsi “one of the most stunning diplomatic failures in recent memory.”

The United States has said hundreds of its crisis-response Marines in Europe were positioned to deploy to Egypt.

By Press TV

 

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