Speaking on ABC News' "This Week" on Sunday, Egypt's ambassador to the United States insisted that the military ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi did not constitute a coup.
"Absolutely not," Ambassador Mohamed Tawfik said in response to a question by Jonathan Karl. "The military -- listen, what happened was you had over 15 million people in the streets. And President Morsi, he could have said, 'Listen, my people, I listen, I hear you.' But instead of that, he whipped up religious fervor among his supporters, and there was violence in the air. "
Tawfik, who was appointed ambassador by Morsi, said, "Morsi was elected democratically, I agree. I supported him. I did my best to help him to succeed. Like millions of other Egyptians, I really wished he had acted like a president to all Egyptians."
For Egypt, the question of whether the military decision to push out Morsi constituted a coup is more than just semantics: U.S. law requires that foreign aid must be withdrawn from any country involved in a coup. The U.S. sends about $1.3 billion a year in aid to Egypt.
But according to Tawfik, "What has happened is that the people of Egypt have decided that President Morsi did not act during his year in office as president for all Egyptians. Twenty-two million Egyptians wrote petitions demanding early elections."