As enraged demonstrators torched Muslim Brotherhood offices in several Egyptian cities, a defiant Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi defended his recent decree granting himself sweeping powers before a crowd of supporters outside the presidential palace in Cairo Friday.
Among Egypt’s secular opposition groups, there was mounting alarm over Morsi’s declaration that no court could dissolve the country’s Constituent Assembly, which is drawing up a new Egyptian constitution.
The rewriting of the new constitution has been a controversial issue, with most non-Islamist members quitting the Constituent Assembly – including representatives of the Coptic Christian Church and the April 6 Youth Movement, which played an influential role in the 2011 ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.
The Obama administration’s praise of Morsi was reported by ABC News: **warning: autoplay video**
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is being credited with brokering the cease-fire today between Israel and Hamas, but the international gratitude and praise he is getting could come with a political price at home.
Both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama heaped praise on the Egyptian president. Obama called his Egyptian counterpart today to thank him for his efforts in the negotiations, and Clinton expressed her gratitude personally in the press conference announcing the deal.
"I want to thank President Morsi for his personal leadership to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and end the violence," said Clinton. "This is a critical moment for the region. Egypt’s new government is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone of regional stability and peace."