World Bulletin/News Desk
The Egyptian Presidency has rejected statements by US Senator John McCain in which he termed the ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi as a "coup", describing the remarks as "clumsy".
"President Adly Mansour denounces McCain's statements and see them unacceptable interference in Egypt's internal affairs," his media adviser Ahmed al-Meslimani said late Tuesday.
"John McCain is twisting facts and his statements are totally rejected," he added.
Earlier Tuesday, McCain described the July 3 ouster of Morsi by the powerful army as a "coup".
"We have said we share the democratic aspirations and criticism of the Morsi government that led millions of Egyptians into the streets," McCain told a press conference in Cairo.
"We've also said that the circumstances of [Morsi's] removal was a coup. This was a transition of power not by the ballot box."
McCain's description comes at odds with the stance of the the US administration, which had delicately avoided using the term for Morsi's removal.
"What happens in Egypt in the coming weeks is very, very critical and will have a decisive impact on this country and in the Middle East as well," McCain said.
McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham concluded earlier Tuesday a two-day visit to Egypt for talks with Egyptian officials on political developments in the country.
They met Tuesday with Vice-President for International Relations Mohamed ElBaradei, army chief and Defense Minister Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and interim Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi.
Egypt has been in the throes of a political crisis since Morsi's ouster with his supporters staging daily demonstrations demanding his reinstatement.
"Those in charge were not elected. Those who were elected are in jail."
The two US senators called for national dialogue in Egypt to resolve the crisis triggered by Morsi's removal.
"We have urged the release of political prisoners. We have urged a national dialogue that is inclusive of all parties that renounce the use of violence. We have strongly urged a set timetable for amendment of the constitution, elections for the parliament, followed by elections for the presidency," McCain said.
"We are confident that Egypt can still serve as a model of inclusive democracy that can inspire this region and the world, and we will continue to support our friends here every step of the way," he added.
McCain said that they were not here to negotiate with Egyptian leaders but to urge them as "longtime friends" to avoid further violence and chaos.
"We are here to move forward," the Republican senator said.
"The events that have taken place. We want to express our support, our friendship, our appreciation and our knowledge of how important Egypt is to the world."
Ever since his ouster, pro-Morsi demonstrators have been staging daily mass rallies and sit-ins nationwide to demand his reinstatement.
"Democracy is the only viable path to lasting stability," McCain said.
"That means more than elections -- it means democratic governance, an inclusive political process in which all Egyptians are free to participate."
Senator Graham said the release of detainees would help render efforts aimed at resolving the crisis successful.
"The people who are in charge were not elected. The people who were elected are in jail. The status quo is not acceptable."
The two US senators said that it would be wrong to cut off US military aid to Egypt, worth some $1.5 billion a year, following Morsi's ouster.
"Cutting off aid would be the wrong signal at the wrong time," McCain said.
Describing Egypt as "the heart and soul of the Arab world", Graham said Egypt is one of the "best investments" that America can make in the Middle East, warning that a failed Egyptian state is his "worst nightmare".
"We need progress, we need transition, and we need it soon," he added.Last Mod: 07 Ağustos 2013, 11:09