Before the Egyptian military ousted President Morsi, the US was caught between a democratically elected leader and the democratic forces seeking his removal. But it's still in a tight spot.
The ouster of Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi by the country’s powerful military releases the United States from the delicate spot it found itself in before Wednesday’s events: caught between a democratically elected leader and the democratic forces seeking his removal.
But the relief is minimal.
The US will still face hard questions over how to respond to a military coup in a country that is a key Middle East partner and a major recipient of US military aid.
The days ahead are likely to remain agitated and tense in Egypt, and the US will almost certainly face criticism from Mr. Morsi’s supporters, who will say the US acquiesced to the illegal removal of an elected leader who had just marked the first year of a four-year term.
The Egyptian military acted to deflect accusations that the manner in which it removed Morsi amounted to a coup. While the military suspended the Morsi-era constitution, the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian armed forces, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, told Egyptians in a televised address Wednesday night that the chief justice of Egypt’s constitutional court – and not a military leader – would fill the presidency until new presidential elections can be held.