Hürriyet Daily News reports: The Obama administration has still refrained from calling former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s ouster a “coup,” but top U.S. officials have thrown their backing behind the military rulers.
“It’s clear that the Egyptian people have spoken,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, when asked whether Washington still considered Morsi the legitimate president.
“There’s an interim government in place … this is leading the path to democracy, we are hopeful. And we are in touch with a range of actors. But obviously, he is no longer in his acting position.”
Challenged about the fact that, before his ouster, Egypt already had a democratically elected government, Psaki replied: “It wasn’t a democratic rule. That’s the whole point.”
A U.S. decision to brand his overthrow a coup would, by U.S. law, require Washington to halt aid to the Egyptian military, which receives the lion’s share of the $1.5 billion in annual U.S. assistance to that country.
Egypt’s interim government praised the United States for showing “understanding” by describing the rule of ousted Morsi as undemocratic. Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said the U.S. comments “reflect understanding and realization … about the political developments that Egypt has been witnessing in recent days, as embodying the will of the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets starting on June 30 to ask for their legitimate rights and call for early elections.”