The White House says it won’t cut aid to Egypt immediately following the removal of President Morsi. Obama spokesperson Jay Carney also refused to characterized the events in the middle eastern country a coup, despite calls from some legislators to do so.
Carney was grilled by the press corps at Monday’s briefing and struggled to explain how the administration could call the removal from power of Morsi anything but a coup.
“This is an incredibly complex and difficult situation,” said Carney, noting that millions of Egyptians had legitimate grievances with Morsi. “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.”
The refusal of the administration to call Egypt’s situation a coup can be explained by a law which dates back to the 1980s. According to the legislation, when a coup occurs, aid to the afflicted country should be suspended. The US gives $1.55 billion in aid to Egypt.
The Obama administration has denounced the events in Egypt without calling it a coup, but have not called for Morsi to be reinstated. They have, however, asked for democracy to be re-established immediately.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is leading lawmakers in calling for a suspension of aid to Egypt as to the actions taken to remove Morsi are indeed a coup.
“It is difficult for me to conclude that what happened was anything other than a coup in which the military played a decisive role,” said Senator John McCain.
“I do not want to suspend our critical assistance to Egypt, but I believe that is the right thing to do at this time,” he added in a statement.
On Monday, Egypt’s interim leader announced that elections will take place in about six months.
The State Department is monitoring the situation closely. Violence has ensued after the overthrow of Morsi on Wednesday.
Do you think the US should continue to support Egypt after the removal of Morsi?
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