U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he was “deeply concerned” by the Egyptian military to remove Islamist President Mohammed Mursi.
He called for the swift return to civilian government, adding that he has directed relevant U.S. agencies to review the implications of U.S. to the Egyptian military.
Obama urged all sides in Egypt to avoid violence. He said that expected the army to protect the rights to a peaceful assembly and due process.
Meanwhile, U.S. Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey warned the Egyptian army of consequences if its decision to oust Mursi is considered a coup.
“At the end of the day it's their country and they will find their way, but there will consequences if it is badly handled,” he told CNN. “There’s laws that bind us on how we deal with these kinds of situations.”
Dempsey's remarks refer to the laws that require the United States to cut off aid when a democratically elected government is deposed by military coup or decree. The United States sends $1.5 billion every year to Egypt, most of it in military aid.
The Egyptian army chief ousted Mursi on Wednesday and announced the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court caretaker leader.
He said that the Islamist-drafted constitution will be suspended and early presidential and parliamentary elections will be held, adding that a technocrat cabinet will be appointed to run the country during a transition period, which he did not specify.
Meanwhile, at least five people were killed when opponents and supporters of Egypt's deposed president clashed after the army announced his removal.