* Clinton stresses need for democratic dialogue
* Following up on shaky Gaza truce
WASHINGTON Nov 26 Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr
on Monday to underscore U.S. hopes that Egypt's political crisis
can be resolved in a democratic manner, the State Department
Clinton reiterated U.S. concerns about Egyptian President
Mohamed Mursi's decision to assume sweeping powers and checked
in on the progress of discussions between Mursi and senior
judges on the way forward, State Department spokeswoman Victoria
Nuland told a news briefing.
"The secretary underscored the importance of settling these
disputes in a democratic manner, so we look forward to seeing
the outcome of that (discussion)," Nuland said.
"We are encouraged that the various important stakeholders
in Egypt are now talking to each other, (and) that President
Mursi is consulting on the way forward, but we're not going to
prejudge where that is going to go."
Mursi's crisis talks on Monday followed a presidential
decree last week that shielded his decisions from judicial
review, a move that spurred new protests and fears of broader
instability two years after Hosni Mubarak was ousted.
The United States last week raised concerns over the decree,
which comes as many liberals and others say their views are not
being considered by the Islamist-dominated assembly now drawing
up a new constitution.
"We want to see the constitutional process move forward in a
way that does not overly concentrate power in one set of hands,"
"We want to ensure that, as this governance situation goes
forward, that the rights of all Egyptians are protected, that
there is a balance of power, that there are checks and balances
in the system."
She said Clinton also used the phone call to discuss Gaza,
where an Egyptian-brokered truce last week ended days of
fighting between Israel and the Palestinians but called for more
discussions of the underlying causes of the conflict.
"Our sense is that discussions are ongoing, that the sides
are talking, and we will see what comes of that as well," Nuland
She said Clinton - who met Mursi in Cairo last week as part
of her shuttle diplomacy over the Gaza crisis - had received no
forewarning of his intent to assume greater powers just one day
And she hinted that future help for Egypt's badly battered
economy, including a prospective $4.8 billion loan from the
International Monetary Fund as well as a potential $1 billion
debt relief package from the United States, could hinge on how
the current crisis is resolved.
"Everybody is watching how this goes forward," Nuland said,
adding that economic aid was aimed at supporting an increasingly
democratic Egypt with an inclusive constitution.
"That's the trajectory that we want to see Egypt on, so we
need to see how this latest round gets resolved," she said.