Excerpt from the United States Department of State Daily Press Briefing:
MS. NULAND: Yeah, Egypt.
QUESTION: Can we return to one of the questions that you were asked yesterday, which was whether the U.S. Government regarded it as a good thing that a court struck down the decree under which the Egyptian military would be able to arrest - would have been able to arrest civilians? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
MS. NULAND: Well, we did - as you know, this was coming down as we were here yesterday, so we didn't have a chance to fully appreciate what it was about. We do consider this a positive development. We think it marks another step in the direction of a civilian-run government. We now look forward to the full implementation of the court's decision. As we've said many times, we support Egypt's transition to a democratic government that respects the universal human rights of its people, including the rights to freedom of assembly, free speech, et cetera.
QUESTION: An Egyptian media source said - claimed that Secretary of State will be visiting Cairo. Is that true?
MS. NULAND: There is nothing to announce at the moment. I think she does look forward to a chance to go and consult with the new government at an appropriate moment, but I don't have anything to announce.
QUESTION: But is it likely to be at this trip?
MS. NULAND: No. No.
QUESTION: Okay. What about --
QUESTION: Not on this trip? Not likely to be on this trip?
MS. NULAND: Correct.
QUESTION: What about any - should we expect any sort of invitation from Mr. Morsi to visit Washington anytime soon?
MS. NULAND: I think we need to let President-elect Morsi get himself inaugurated, pull his government together. As we said, we look forward to a chance to continue to interact there going forward, but I don't have anything to announce on Washington visits.
QUESTION: And it would be appropriate for Egypt, for the new Egyptian-elected president, to visit Washington as his first stop, considering that its biggest ally?
MS. NULAND: Again, that's a decision for Egyptians to make, and also for the White House to make.
QUESTION: Have you made any decision on the self-proclaimed terrorist? Is the Egyptian parliament - former member of parliament - sorry, it gets long - who visited the United States last week --
MS. NULAND: You're asking about his visa status?
MS. NULAND: As you know, he's returned home. And I don't have anything further on the visa issue.
QUESTION: On Sudan?
MS. NULAND: Yeah.
QUESTION: We saw by your statement --
MS. NULAND: Sorry - still on Egypt? Yeah.
QUESTION: We know that the President issued a - called Mr. Morsi or sent him a message and so on, but not the State Department. Has the State Department or has Secretary Clinton called Mr. Morsi herself?
MS. NULAND: No. I mean, he's the President's counterpart, so it was appropriate for the President to speak with him. I think our expectation is when a government is formed and a foreign minister is named, then the Secretary would reach out.
QUESTION: But then correct me if I'm wrong, but in past practices, the Secretary of State did call leaders when they were elected to congratulate them. That is not so?
MS. NULAND: Traditionally, that's the purview of the President on that first round. Yeah.
All right, Sudan.
QUESTION: We saw your statement last night. There are reports today that there's been some additional economically-based demonstrations that were put down. Can you tell us about your concerns about what's going on in Sudan?
MS. NULAND: Well, I think our concern is that you have citizens in Sudan who are concerned about the economic conditions in the country, concerned about how difficult it is to make ends meet, and they're exercising their right of peaceful protest, and their government is arresting and detaining them. And this is the wrong response, and it speaks to the fact that the government is putting its energy in all of the wrong places rather than focusing on the needs of its people, which include settling scores with the neighbors and implementing all of the aspects of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement so they can move forward.
(The briefing was concluded at 1:15 p.m.)