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July 3, 2013

Egyptian President Faces Political Isolation as Tension Grows

Watch Political Isolation for Morsi as Egypt Crisis Deepens on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

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The conflict in Egypt has worsened again as the military pressured President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to meet a deadline to make concessions with the opposition.

Egyptian military chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi says that the elected parliament should be dissolved and the constitution suspended, and a temporary leader should replace President Morsi if he can’t agree to reconcile with his opponents.

The ultimatum was delivered Monday with a time frame of 48 hours for Morsi to work through the conflict in a way that would leave both sides satisfied.

Several Egyptian government officials have resigned, sending Morsi into deeper political isolation.

“We will not allow Egypt with all of its forces to return backward under any circumstances,” said Morsi’s office in a public statement regarding the ultimatum. “We all chose democratic means as they only safe way to manage our differences of opinion.”

President Obama made a phone call to President Morsi telling him “the United States is committed to the democratic process in Egypt and does not support any single party or group,” said Obama. “Democracy is about more than elections.”

Amid the tension, there were reports of armed clashes between Morsi supporters and opponents in Cairo.


Warm up questions

1. Where is Egypt? What is going on there?

2. What is a coup?

3. What is a constitution?

Discussion questions

1. What do you think President Obama means when he says, “democracy is about more than elections?”

2. Do you think America should have a role in this international political conflict?  Why or why not?

3. What does it mean to live in a democratic nation?

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