US Pressures Egyptian Military to Step Aside
White House publicly calls for civilian government to take control ASAP
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2011 10:33 AM CST
A military officer is surrounded by protesters, some waving Egyptian national flags, as he attends an anti-military council protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 25, 2011.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

(Newser) – The Obama administration is publicly and privately pressuring Egypt’s military leaders to step aside ASAP. The White House issued a statement today urging that a “full transfer of power to a civilian government,” take place “in a just and inclusive manner … as soon as possible,” the AFP reports. “The United States strongly believes that the new Egyptian government must be empowered with real authority immediately,” press secretary Jay Carney said.

Administration officials have also sent private messages to Egyptian leaders, urging them to keep elections on track, the Washington Post reports. “Our goal would be for voting to go forward, because a delay would send the wrong message,” one senior official said. They’ve also implored Egypt to rein in security forces. “They did use excessive force,” a State Department spokesman said. “We’ve made that very clear in our public, as I’m saying right now, but also in our private conversations with them.” Meanwhile, another mass rally is taking place in Tahrir Square.