US to avoid calling Mursi overthrow in Egypt a 'coup'
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States has decided not to call the overthrow of Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi a coup, which would have forced it to freeze US$1.5 billion (S$1.9 billion) in mainly military aid, an official said on Friday.
"The law does not require us to make a formal determination as to whether a coup took place, and it is not in our national interest to make such a determination," a senior administration official told AFP, in a further sign that Washington has no intention of slashing its aid to Cairo.
"We will work with the Congress to determine how best to continue assistance to Egypt in a manner that encourages Egypt's interim government to quickly and responsibly transition back to a stable, democratic, inclusive, civilian-led government that addresses the needs and respects the rights and freedoms of all its people," the official added.
President Barack Obama said after the July 3 toppling of Mr Mursi by the Egyptian military that he had ordered his administration to review the legal implications for US aid to Egypt, under a US law which forbids all but humanitarian aid to countries where legally elected leaders have been ousted by a military coup.