Obama: US not backing any Egyptian party or group

President's office disputes claim

CAIRO - President Barack Obama is reiterating that the U.S. is not aligned with and is not supporting any particular Egyptian political party or group and again condemns the ongoing violence across Egypt.

The White House says that Obama made those points during a telephone conference Saturday with the National Security Council about developments in Egypt. He is spending the weekend at the Maryland presidential retreat, Camp David.

The White House says in a statement that the U.S. categorically rejects what it calls "the false claims propagated by some in Egypt that the U.S. is working with specific political parties or movements to dictate how Egypt's transition should proceed."

 

--Egyptian opposition leader named PM?--

An opposition spokesman says pro-reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei has been named interim prime minister, but Egypt president's office says that isn't true.

Khaled Dawoud of the National Salvation Front, the main opposition grouping, told The Associated Press that interim President Adly Mansour will swear in ElBaradei on Saturday evening.

However the AP reported the dispute from the president's office a few hours later.

ElBaradei has led the opposition to autocrat Hosni Mubarak, toppled by a popular uprising in 2011, and later to the Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, forced out by the military earlier this week in a move that has led to a new round of chaos in Egypt.

ElBaradei is a Nobel peace Laureate and a former director of the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

 

--Security boosted after deadly clashes--

Egyptian security forces are bolstering positions near a protest camp by supporters of ousted leader Mohammed Morsi after violence that has claimed at least 36 lives across the country and deepened the nation's divisions.

Amid concern that the unrest could spin out of control, Egypt's acting president, Adly Mansour, held talks with the army chief and interior minister today. Officials say Mansour has also met with leaders of Tamrod, or Rebel, the youth movement that organized the mass anti-Morsi demonstrations.

Morsi's supporters have vowed to remain in the streets until the toppled Islamist leader is reinstated. His opponents, meanwhile, have called for more mass rallies to defend what they call the "gains of June 30," a reference to the start of massive protests last weekend to call for the ouster of the president.

There have been no reports of major clashes after dawn this morning, but overnight street battles added to an overall death toll of at least 75 in the past week.