US Shares Saudi Arabia’s Interest in a Stable Egypt: Obama Official

The United States “shares the Saudi interest in a stable Egypt,” US Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes said Friday before President Obama’s visit to the Gulf state.

Rhodes, speaking to journalists aboard Air Force One en route to Riyadh from Rome, said that this stability will be “well served by Egypt sticking to a democratic roadmap.”

He added that the US has some concerns in Egypt that include the detention of journalists and political activists, and the recent court verdict that sentenced 529 people to death.

The US has voiced some concerns lately on Egypt’s transitional “roadmap” to democracy, announced following the ouster of Islamic president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013.

Egypt’s crackdown on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood started with jailing the leading members in the group and most recently handing 529 people the death sentence.

The verdict was passed on charges related to the killing of a police officer and violence in a response to the police’s bloody crackdown in August 2013 on a pro-Morsi vigil that left hundreds dead and injured.

The Egyptian government has repeatedly affirmed that it is fighting terrorism, which has spiked following Morsi’s ouster. Attacks on police and army personnel started in the Sinai Peninsula and spread to other cities and governorates, including Egypt’s capital Cairo.

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