Obama statement on Egypt avoids 'coup'

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President Obama refrained from declaring the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi a military coup in a statement issued Wednesday after White House consultations with his national security aides.

“No transition to democracy comes without difficulty, but in the end it must stay true to the will of the people,” Obama said in the statement.

“The United States continues to believe firmly that the best foundation for lasting stability in Egypt is a democratic political order with participation from all sides and all political parties —secular and religious, civilian and military,” he said.

Obama statement “expressing deep concern over the military's decision to remove President Morsi tracks that [U.S.] legislative definition of a coup very closely, and I can't help but think that's deliberate,” Tamara Wittes, a former senior State Department Middle East official who heads the Brookings Saban Center, wrote. “The law in place is designed to give coup-established governments a strong incentive to return their countries to democratic rule — aid can resume as soon as new democratic elections are held.”

Meantime, Egypt's Al-Tahrir newspaper had a message for President Obama on its front page Thursday:

Top Photo: President Obama, photographed on Wednesday meeting with his national security team to discuss the situation in Egypt. To his left, new National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Attorney General Eric Holder, CIA Director John Brennan, Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, Jake Sullivan, national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. To Obama's right, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, DNI James Clapper. Secretary of State John Kerry called into the meeting by phone, State Department officials said. Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

Second photo of Al-Tahrir front page from the Newseum, posted to Twitter by @Jfdulac.

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