Kerry meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem. June 27, 2013.
Kerry meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem. June 27, 2013. Photo by AFP
Text size

The turmoil in Egypt was the subject of intense telephone calls Thursday night between Washington and Jerusalem. American and Israeli officials updated each other in an effort to coordinate policies vis-à-vis the interim government in Egypt following Mohammed Morsi's overthrow this week.

U.S. President Barack Obama held a special press conference at the White House Thursday night about the crisis in Egypt. Following the conference, Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone, as did Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon. Newly-instated National Security Advisor Susan Rice also spoke with her counterpart, National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror.

Meanwhile, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood called for a wave of protests Friday, furious over the military's ouster of its president and arrest of its revered leader and other top figures, underlining the touchy issue of what role the fundamentalist Islamist movement might play in the new regime.

There are concerns of Islamist violence in retaliation for Morsi's ouster, and some former militant extremists have vowed to fight.  Amid a swift crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian armed forces used their Facebook page to say they will not take arbitrary measures against any political group and will guarantee the right to protest, as long as demonstrations do not threaten national security.

Col. Ahmed Mohammed Ali wrote late Thursday the armed forces and security agencies want to "ensure national reconciliation, constructive justice and tolerance."

He did not say how national reconciliation can be achieved. Security agencies have arrested at least four senior Brotherhood figures since Morsi was ousted, who is also being detained. He was replaced by Egypt's chief justice Adli Mansour, sworn in as interim president.

Ali said only peaceful protests will be tolerated, urging Egyptians to avoid
attacks on Brotherhood offices to prevent an "endless cycle of revenge.