WASHINGTON U.S. President Barack Obama is calling for calm in Egypt and for the country to resolve differences over its constitutional impasse peacefully, a White House spokesman said on Monday.
Recent declarations by Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi that expanded his powers and put his decisions out of the reach of judicial review have raised questions internationally about the country's work on establishing a constitution and democratic system.
The decrees have also forced Obama to straddle two positions on Mursi, who helped broker a ceasefire in the recent Gaza conflict that was backed by the United States.
Mursi "played an important role," in bringing "about a ceasefire, so that lives could be saved and the possibility of moving forward on negotiations for a more enduring peace could be realized," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a briefing of reporters.
"Separately we've raised concerns about some of the decisions and declarations that were made on November 22," he added. "And we continue to engage with the Egyptians on this. And I think the important issue here is the Egyptian people want a government that reflects their will."
(Reporting By Lisa Lambert and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Eric Walsh)