US scrambles to avoid Egypt 'coup' designation

Associated Press + More

By MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say the Obama administration wants to find a way to avoid labeling the overthrow of Egypt's Islamist president a "coup" so that crucial aid can be kept flowing to the Egyptian military without violating American law.

While not directly ordering an outcome of a legal review into Mohammed Morsi's ouster last week, the officials said the White House has made clear in inter-agency discussions that continued aid to Egypt's military is a U.S. national security priority that would be jeopardized by a coup finding. That review is ongoing.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

Under U.S. law, a coup determination would require a suspension of all non-humanitarian aid to Egypt, including $1.3 billion that directly supports the Egyptian army.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.