Dempsey Discusses U.S.-Egyptian Military Relations
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 5, 2013 U.S. and Egyptian military leaders are building on relationships developed over more than 30 years as Egypt goes through political turmoil, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a July 3 interview with CNN.
President Barack Obama meets with members of his national security team, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, to discuss the situation in Egypt, in the Situation Room of the White House, July 3, 2013. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
During the interview, CNN correspondent Candy Crowley spoke with Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, before the Egyptian military forced out President Mohammed Morsi, in preparation for a “State of the Union” show that will air July 7.
DOD leaders have spoken with Egyptian leaders -- including the military chief, Army Col. Gen. Abdul Fatah al-Sisi -- since demonstrations against the Morsi regime escalated in late June, department officials said.
U.S. military leaders have a close working relationship with Egyptian leaders, built on years of officer exchanges, joint exercises and operations. The U.S. military was working with the Egyptians to help the military define its way under a new system, Dempsey said.
“The armed forces ran the country for several decades, and they were transitioning themselves into their role in a democracy,” Dempsey told Crowley. “I’m not in the know about exactly what they’re going to do.”
Dempsey said his conversations with the Egyptians revolved around getting assurances that the military would protect U.S. citizens in the country.
“I wanted to encourage them to protect all the Egyptian people, not to take sides in any particular issue, and to ensure that they were a part of the resolution of this, but in their proper role as a military which is to ensure stability, but not try to influence the outcome,” Dempsey said.
The Egyptian leaders listened to the chairman’s concerns, he said, noting that “at the end of the day, it’s their country and they will find their way. But there will be consequences if it’s badly handled.”
Morsi has been forced from office and Adlay Mansour has taken his place.