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Libya, Egypt and Yemen violence erupting

Jill Treacy

Libya attacks were deadly but it's suggested that Egypt and President Morsi may be the bigger problem

U.S. ambassador and three Americans die in Libya attack while violence erupts in Egypt and Yemen as well


Libya U.S. ambassador and three U.S. citizens were murdered Tuesday on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and attacks elsewhere may give Washington concern for long-term problems. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo came under attack a few hours before the massacre in Libya, and while the attack in Egypt did not result in any deaths, the Obama administration is questioning Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi’s response to the attacks. While Libyan officials were quick to apologize for the attack, Morsi responded in a lax and indifferent manner to the anti-American unrest in Egypt, according to the New York Times.

The riots and attacks in Libya, Egypt and now Yemen were prompted by an anti-Muslim video circulating on the web that apparently insulted the Prophet Mohammad. Rioters are blaming America for the blasphemous video. Egypt’s President Mohammad Morsi and his movement for greater Islamic law has been on Washington’s radar since he was elected. Egyptian police did coordinate with American officials against the rioter’s attack, but Morsi was slow to issue a statement against the rioters, and his movement, Muslim Brotherhood, has since moved into a second day of protests against the video.

After issuing a statement of appreciation to Libya in aiding American officials during the attack, President Obama and the White House called Morsi to “review the strategic partnership” between the U.S and Egypt. The president has not given up hope in Egypt, stating, “I don’t think that we should consider them an ally, but we don’t consider them an enemy.” Nevertheless, he also acknowledged the responsibilities Egypt has to uphold in their relationship with the U.S. In an interview with Telemundo, he stated that the Egyptian government “is still a work in progress, but certainly in this situation, what we’re going to expect is that they are responsive to our insistence that our embassy is protected, our personnel is protected. And if they take actions that they’re not taking those responsibilities, as all countries do where we have embassies, I think that is going to be a real big problem.”

Egypt is the second largest recipient of American foreign aid at $2 billion a year, according to the New York Times. Obama has supported the rise of Egypt’s democratically elected civilian government as well as other Arab spring movements, including that in Libya, but it has been proposed that some of the movements are simply out of the United States’ hands. 

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