|Date: 13/09/2012 Time: 03:16:00 PM
President Barack Obama called Egyptian
President Mohammed Morsi and Libyan President Moamed Magariaf in the wake of
security breaches at the U.S. embassies in the two countries as unrest spread
through the region over a film made in the United States that denigrates
During his call to Morsi, Obama reviewed the strategic partnership between
the United States and Egypt, as well as ongoing efforts to strengthen
bilateral economic and security cooperation, the White House announcement said.
"Given recent events, and consistent with our interest in a relationship
based on mutual interests and mutual respect, President Obama underscored the
importance of Egypt following through on its commitment to cooperate with the
United States in securing U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel," the White
House said. "The President said that he rejects efforts to denigrate Islam,
but underscored that there is never any justification for violence against
innocents and acts that endanger American personnel and facilities."
Morsi expressed his condolences for the tragic loss of American life in
Libya and emphasized that Egypt would honor its obligation to ensure the
safety of American personnel, the statement said.
In their first conversation since the election in Libya last month, Obama
thanked Magariaf for extending his condolences for the deaths of U.S.
Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, Sean Smith and two other State Department
officers in Benghazi.
"He also expressed appreciation for the cooperation we have received from
the Libyan government and people in responding to this outrageous attack, and
said that the Libyan government must continue to work with us to assure the
security of our personnel going forward," the White House said.
"The President made it clear that we must work together to do whatever is
necessary to identify the perpetrators of this attack and bring them to
justice," the statement said.
The two presidents agreed to work closely over the course of this
investigation, it said.
"The President reaffirmed our support for Libya's democratic transition, a
cause Ambassador Stevens believed in deeply and did so much to advance," the
White House said. "He welcomed the election of a new prime minister to help
lead the Libyan government's efforts to improve security, counter extremism
and advance its democracy."
In ongoing protests erupting at U.S. embassies in the region, riot police
fired warning shots and tear gas early Thursday outside the U.S. Embassy in
Cairo to keep hundreds of protesters at bay, while demonstrators in the Yemeni
capital city of Sana'a breached a wall at the American mission, witnesses and
government officials said.
The protests were the latest to roil the region following the online
release of an amateurish film posted on YouTube that denigrates Prophet
Several thousand protesters demonstrated outside the embassy in Sana'a,
with some breaching the embassy's security wall.
"Given recent regional developments, earlier this morning, angry protesters
unfortunately flooded the security perimeter of the U.S. embassy in Sana'a,
Yemen and breached the embassy's wall," said a statement released by Yemen
through its embassy in Washington.
"Security services have quickly restored order to the embassy's complex,"
the statement said. "Fortunately no casualties were reported from this chaotic
On Thursday, the Asaib al-Haq militia threatened U.S. interests in Iraq
over the film; the group carried out some of the most prominent attacks on
foreigners during the Iraq war.
In the Iranian capital of Tehran, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that
around 500 demonstrators converged on the Swiss Embassy, which handles
American interests in the country in the absence of formal diplomatic
relations. Police held back the protesters, but the compound had already been
evacuated as a precaution, AFP said.
Late Wednesday, police fired tear gas at angry demonstrators outside the U.
S. embassy in Tunisia, and several hundred people gathered in front of the U.
S. embassy in Sudan.
In Morocco, a few dozen protesters burned American flags and chanted
slogans near the U.S. consulate in Casablanca.