Egypt’s foreign minister tells US that military intervention was not a coup

US secretary of state John Kerry says Egypt remains key ally

US secretary of state John Kerry: Egypt’s stability a matter of importance to US. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/Reuters

Egyptian foreign minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said he assured US secretary of state John Kerry in a telephone call on Thursday that the overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi had not been a military coup.

The definition of what happened in Egypt on Wednesday is important because a military overthrow of an elected leader would generally trigger economic sanctions and could entail cutting of vital US aid.

“The American side is a strategic partner for Egypt and the welfare of Egypt is important to them,” said Mr Amr, a career diplomat who tendered his resignation to Mr Morsi on Tuesday but who remains in charge of Egypt’s foreign ministry, at least until a new interim technocratic government is named.

“I hope that they read the situation in the right way, that this is not a military coup in any way. This was actually the overwhelming will of the people.”

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Mr Kerry had assured him, Mr Amr said, that Egypt was a strategic ally whose stability was important. Mr Kerry also asked about human rights and the Egyptian minister said there would be no acts of vengeance against Mr Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.


Ambassadors briefed
Mr Amr said he had briefed many ambassadors in Cairo and spoken by telephone with more than a dozen foreign ministers and the United Nations secretary general on Thursday.

“Definitely what happened was not a military coup,” he said he told them. “I know that last night and today some people are saying this. Of course, I can understand. But what happened, definitely, definitely, was not a military coup.”

He said the move had been driven by the massive popular demonstrations on Sunday against Mr Morsi which had persuaded the armed forces to intervene. Noting a roadmap set out for holding new elections, he said: “There is no role, no political role whatsoever, for the military . . . This is the total opposite of a military coup.

“The idea is to have everybody participating in the transitional process.” – Reuters