Mohamed Tawfik, Egypt’s ambassador to the U.S., who had been appointed by former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, insisted that the ouster of Morsi in Egypt did not constitute a coup.
Tawfik, interviewed in Sunday by Jonathan Karl on ABC’s This Week, said:
Egypt has not undergone a military coup, and it was certainly not run by the military. Today, there is an interim president in place… The military–listen, what happened was, you had over 15 million people in the street. And President Morsi, he could have said, “Listen, my people, I listen, I hear you.” But instead of that, he whipped up religious fervor among his supporters. And there was violence in the air. After more than 20 people had been killed, leaders from Egyptian parties, from Egyptian religious establishments, from the military, they came together, they said, “We have to stop this, otherwise violence will spiral out of control.”
There are financial consequences for Egypt if the actions to oust Morsi are considered a coup; the United States is restricted by law from giving financial aid to any country whose democratically elected government has been ousted by a military coup.
Concurrent with Tawfik’s appearance on ABC, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Nabil Fahmy said on NBC’s Meet the Press:
I think it’s important to look at the context. You had 20 million to 30 million people out on the street. The military had the choice between intervention and chaos, and they had to respond to that. They did oust the president, that’s true. But then they handed over government immediately to the interim president. So the fact that they seized power or wanted to seize power is, frankly, incorrect.”
Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN, the military is “the one stabilizing force in Egypt that I think can temper down the political feuding that you’re seeing going on now, and then help a process that will allow for multiple factions of parties and beliefs to participate.”