Muslim Brotherhood criticizes Kerry's endorsement of Mursi overthrow

CAIRO Fri Aug 2, 2013 8:24am EDT

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans in Shubra, as they march towards Adawiya Square in the Nasr city area, east of Cairo, where they are camping, August 2, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans in Shubra, as they march towards Adawiya Square in the Nasr city area, east of Cairo, where they are camping, August 2, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood on Friday criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for saying the Egyptian military had been "restoring democracy" when it toppled Islamist president Mohamed Mursi.

"We totally reject these statements and we are very disappointed in them," said Mohamed Ali Bishr, a senior brotherhood leader and a minister in Mursi's former government.

"The United States is a country that speaks of democracy and human rights and they say something like that. I hope that they rethink their position and correct it," he told Reuters.

Mursi, a Brotherhood official who became Egypt's first freely-elected leader in June 2012, was ousted on July 3 and replaced by an army-backed government.

The United States has avoided calling his removal a coup.

On Thursday, in the strongest words of U.S. support yet for the new leadership, Kerry said the Egyptian army had been "restoring democracy" when it toppled Mursi.

"The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of a descent into chaos, into violence," he told Pakistan's GEO TV.

"And the military did not take over, to the best of our judgment so - so far."

Bishr said the U.S. position disregarded the will of the Egyptian people.

(Reporting By Noah Browning; Editing by Angus MacSwanm and Janet Lawrence)

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