Egypt: U.S. State Department Daily Press Briefing: Egypt

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Excerpt from the United States Department of state daily press briefing:

QUESTION: Egypt?

MR. TONER: Oh, go ahead. Yeah, go ahead.

QUESTION: Generally, concern is now that it looks like the situation is really deadlocked?

MR. TONER: Well, I mean, yes. I think we've been very clear where our concerns lie in this process. As you mentioned, it's very clear that many Egyptians have strong opinions about the new constitution - the draft constitution, rather - and the process by which it's approved. There will be a referendum, as you guys saw over the weekend, that's going to be called for on December 15th. And it's important that - we believe - that that referendum be monitored by impartial observers to ensure that it's fair and credible. And obviously, the other critical element of this is that it's important for Egyptians to be able to exercise their right to vote in this referendum in a peaceful and secure environment.

QUESTION: So the judiciary refusing to supervise this, as the law says --

MR. TONER: Well, I think we - right.

QUESTION: The --

MR. TONER: According to Egyptian law, but I would clarify. I think I've seen competing news reports that say they may in fact oversee this referendum, so I don't know what the ultimate outcome is. But as according to Egyptian law, these types of referendums must be overseen by the country's judges. But I'm not clear that they've said they're not going to do that.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MR. TONER: Yeah, thanks.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:05 p.m.)

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