US sharpens criticism of Egyptian arrests

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By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is sharpening its criticism of the Egyptian military and interim government's arrests of supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. It says the continuing detentions are inconsistent with pledges of inclusivity made by authorities and may affect future U.S. assistance.

While the administration has determined it's not in U.S. national security interests to make any immediate changes to its aid program, officials said Thursday that the ongoing arrests of members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and political party are troubling.

The White House and State Department says targeting any particular group in the aftermath of Morsi's overthrow is self-defeating and counter to the idea of representative democracy. The criticism is some of the administration's most severe of Egypt's new leadership since Morsi was toppled last week.

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