Washington • In a stern warning to Egypt's leaders, Secretary of State John Kerry said the escalating violence throughout the country Wednesday had dealt a "serious blow" to political reconciliation efforts between the military-backed interim government and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
Still, Obama administration officials signaled no change in U.S. policy toward Egypt or clear consequences for the mounting violence. The U.S. has avoided declaring Morsi's ouster a coup, a move that would force the administration to suspend $1.3 billion in annual military aid to the strategically important nation, and officials said they continued to believe that step is not in America's national security interests. They said they were engaged in a continual review of policy toward Egypt but stressed that there were no changes to announce.
Kerry, during a surprise appearance at the State Department, condemned the violence that killed at least 149 people nationwide and the reinstatement of emergency rule. He called it "deplorable" and urged Egypt's interim leaders to take a step back and calm the situation.