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U.S. not calling Egyptian army's ouster of president a coup: White House


08:08, July 09, 2013

WASHINGTON, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. is not calling the Egyptian military's ouster of the country's first elected president a coup for now, but needs time to review what has taken place there, the White House said on Monday.

In response to a question about whether what was happening in Egypt should be labeled as a coup, spokesman Jay Carney said that "This is a complex and difficult issue with significant consequences."

"President (Barack) Obama made clear our deep concern about the decision made by the Egyptian armed forces to remove President ( Mohamed) Morsi from power and to suspend the constitution," Carney said at a regular press briefing.

"It is also important to acknowledge that tens of millions of Egyptians have legitimate grievances with President Morsi's undemocratic form of governance and they do not believe that this was a coup," he added. "Indeed, they were demanding a new government."

The army sacked Morsi on Wednesday on that grounds that he had failed to calm down the demonstrations between his supporters and opponents that had roiled the country for days, a move dismissed by Morsi as "a complete military coup."

Morsi's Islamist supporters have staged mass rallies to demand his reinstatement, resulting in deadly clashes that have left dozens killed in recent days.

Obama and other senior administration officials have not called overtly Morsi's removal a coup, but the president has ordered a review of U.S. assistance to Egypt.

"To be blunt, there are significant consequences that go along with this determination, and it is a highly charged issue for millions of Egyptians who have differing views about what happened, " Carney said.

Some 1.3 billion U.S. dollars in Washington's annual aid of 1. 55 billion dollars go to the Egyptian military, but the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act bars assistance for any country where a military coup d'etat has taken place except that for democracy promotion.

"I would say that we are going to take the time necessary to review what has taken place and to monitor efforts by Egyptian authorities to forage an inclusive and democratic way forward," Carney said.

"It is not in our interests to move unnecessarily quickly in making a determination like that, because we need to be mindful of our objective here, which is to assist the Egyptian people in their transition to democracy," he added.

Obama has called on the Egyptian army to move "quickly and responsibly" to return "full authority" to an elected civilian government.

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