Washington: Insisting that it will take time to determine whether the ouster of Mohamed Morsi was a coup, US has asked the powerful military and the interim government in Egypt to move towards a sustainable democracy.
"We are evaluating how the authorities are responding to and handling the current situation. We will take our time and the time necessary to make the determinations regarding what happened last week in the change of leadership, the removal of President Morsi from power," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said yesterday.
US provides USD 1.5 billion financial assistance to Egypt annually, USD 1.3 billion of which is security assistance. If it is determined that what happened in Egypt was indeed a coup, the law dictates a mandatory cut in aids.
"But we do not believe it is in the best interests of the United States to make immediate changes to our assistance programs. There are consequences that come from the way that -- the manner in which we designate the events that happen in Egypt, and we are evaluating both what happened and our responsibilities under the law as we consult with Congress about next steps," he added.
"We are working with our allies in the region to reinforce the message that we have been sending to those in Egypt about the need for Egypt to get off a path of polarisation and move forward on a path of reconciliation," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Egypt ordered the arrest of top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood yesterday, including its chief, for inciting violence that killed 55 people, even as the authorities said ousted President Mohammed Morsi is at a "safe place".
"Reconciliation means -- a democratic process or transition means that for it to work, all groups and parties need to be at the table. We have made clear that we oppose arbitrary arrests, and we continue to make that clear,? Carney said.
"The alternative is chaos. The alternative is a failure of Egypt to reach its potential, its enormous potential. The alternative is sustained disappointment among the Egyptian people about the limitations placed on their own futures," Carney said.
The State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said the US is urging all stake holders to work towards a sustainable democracy.
" Democracy is not just about what happens at the ballot box. It`s not just about getting voted into office. It`s about governing in an inclusive manner and incorporating all sides," she said.
"It`s 22 million people came out and spoke about the way that that democratically elected government was governing and whether their governing style and what they were doing was in the model that was inclusive. That`s an important factor here," Psaki said.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama made phone calls to the leaders of Qatar and the UAE to discuss the current volatile situation in Egypt on Tuesday. The three leaders expressed concern over the ongoing violence in Egypt and agreed on the need for all Egyptian leaders to discourage violence.