When Egypt's first democratically elected president was tossed out earlier this year, the White House stopped short of calling it a coup.
Doing so would force an end to the $1.3 billion that the U.S. sends in military aid every year - and change the course of its relationship with one of its strongest Arab allies in the region.
But that was before Wednesday when the military-led interim government stormed two camps full of former President Mohamed Morsy's supporters. More than 300 people were killed and close to 3,000 wounded in the bloodiest day in Egypt's recent history.FULL STORY
By Elise Labott
The Obama administration is deferring judgment about whether President Mohammed Morsy was ousted in a coup while the Egyptian political process moves forward.
"There's an elephant in the room here," White House Press Secretary James Carney told reporters on Tuesday. "It is in our national interest – the best interest of the United States, and the best interest, in our view of our goal in assisting the Egyptian people, in their transition to democracy to take the time necessary to evaluate the situation before making such a determination."
Another U.S. official was more blunt.
"A policy determination has been made the meantime to call it nothing," the official told CNN.
More than 40 people were killed Monday when Egyptian security forces clashed with supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood, the government said.
Witnesses said the military and police fired when protesters had taken a break from holding a vigil at the Republican Guard headquarters to say their morning prayers. Morsy was reportedly detained there after his arrest Wednesday.
The Health Ministry put the number of fatalities at 42 and said 322 others were wounded.
But the military said it was forced to fire when an "armed terrorist group" tried to raid the headquarters. An Interior Ministry statement said two security force members - a lieutenant and a recruit - were shot and killed.FULL STORY
A day after deposing the nation's first democratically elected president, Egypt's top prosecutor opened an investigation into claims that deposed President Mohamed Morsy and top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood incited violence and the killing of protesters.
The prosecutor, Gen. Abdel Maquid Mahmoud, issued an order preventing Morsy and 35 others from leaving the country while they are under investigation, state-run Middle East News Agency and EgyNews reported Thursday, citing the prosecutor's office.
The news came as Egypt's security forces moved to arrest leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood who supported Morsy's rule and to silence their communications outlets.
Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad told CNN that Morsy was initially under house arrest at the presidential Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo and later moved to the Ministry of Defense; the military has not commented on Morsy's whereabouts.FULL STORY
By Jill Dougherty, reporting from Cairo
Calling it a "good-faith effort" to help the Egyptian people, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released $250 million in economic aid Sunday, with a pledge of more if President Mohamed Morsy implements economic and political reforms.
Kerry's announcement came after a series of weekend meetings in Cairo with a cross-section of Egyptians and a two-hour session with Morsy on Sunday.
"When Egypt takes the difficult steps to strengthen its economy and build political unity and justice, we will work with our Congress at home on additional support," Kerry said in a written statement on the talks. But right now, Kerry said, Egypt needs help.
"In light of Egypt's extreme needs" and assurances by Morsy that he will take the steps necessary to obtain a major loan package from the International Monetary Fund, Kerry said the United States would provide the first $190 million of $450 million in already-promised support funds to the Egyptian government budget.
By CNN's Jill Dougherty
At a roundtable with business leaders in Cairo, Secretary of State John Kerry said it is "paramount, essential, urgent that the Egyptian economy get stronger, that it get back on its feet."
Sidestepping political divisions that are holding back reform, Kerry said he was not supporting any party or any political view.
He said that in order for the economy to revive, there needs to be a sense of security and "an IMF agreement needs to be reached," he told the business leaders.
Sunday, when he meets with Egyptian president Mohamed Morsy, Kerry said he will speak about "very specific ways" in which President Obama wants to engage, including economic assistance, support for private business, increasing Egyptian exports to the U.S. and investing in Egypt's people through education.
He said he has spoken with the leaders of Great Britain, France, Germany and Turkey and all want to be helpful "but all of them believe Egypt must make some fundamental economic choices."
By Jamie Crawford
As the political turmoil in Egypt continues, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she's concerned about an Egyptian military official's assertion that the current situation could lead to the collapse of the Egyptian state.
"I think that would lead to incredible chaos and violence on a scale that would be devastating for Egypt and the region," Clinton said in a CNN interview Tuesday at the State Department. "There has to be some understanding by the new government that the aspirations that the people were expressing during the revolution in Egypt have to be taken seriously. And it - it cannot in any way be overlooked that there is a large number of Egyptians who are not satisfied with the direction of the economy and the political reform."
Thousands of anti-government protesters have clashed with police and troops in three Egyptian cities, and defied President Mohamed Morsy's curfew orders. Demonstrators are upset with recent political moves by Morsy, and charge that the country's first democratically elected president is a throwback to former dictatorships.
Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt's defense minister, warned Tuesday that continued instability could have grave consequences.
By Jamie Crawford
President Barack Obama offered a more cautious and nuanced take than in recent memory of the United States and Egyptian relationship following an assault on the American embassy in Cairo this week.
"I don't think that we consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy," Obama said Wednesday in an interview with the Spanish language network Telemundo. "They are a new government that is trying to find its way," he said. "They were democratically elected."
Obama's comments were taken as a possible change in posture toward a country that has enjoyed billions of dollars in U.S. military and economic assistance since the signing of a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 – the linchpin of security in the volatile region.
"I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident," Obama went on to say in the interview. "I think it's still a work in progress. But certainly in this situation, what we're going to expect is that they are responsive to our assistance that our embassy is protected, that our personnel are protected."
By Jill Dougherty
More than 100 senior executives from dozens of U.S. companies, representing finance, energy, technology and other firms, will travel to Egypt on Saturday as part of the largest-ever trade delegation to the region.
Organized by the Chamber of Commerce through its U.S.-Egypt Business Council, the mission's primary aim is to promote private-sector development and to scout for opportunities and partnerships.
But the delegation will also express U.S. business confidence in Egypt and demonstrate a commitment to the country's long-term economic development.
It will be led by Lionel Johnson, the chamber's vice president of Turkey, Middle East, and North Africa affairs, and Steve Farris, chief executive of Apache Corporation, a private Fortune 200 company with more than $10 billion in investments in Egypt.
By Jennifer Rizzo
The new second in command of the Egyptian military called for a withdrawal of American forces from the Middle East in a research paper he wrote while attending the U.S. Army War College in 2005.
The paper offers a glimpse into the thinking of Lt. Gen. Sedky Sobhy, who is the newly appointed chief of staff of the armed forces as part of shakeup of the military's top echelon.
"I recommend that the permanent withdrawal of the United States military forces from the Middle East and the (Persian) Gulf should be a goal of the U.S. strategy in this region," he wrote in the paper reviewed by CNN.
Sobhy criticized the United States for playing favorites by taking Israel's side on issues. He wrote that the U.S. alliance with Israel did not sit well in the region.
"Nothing defines better the ideological struggle that the United States has to overcome in the Middle East than the hostility and negative perceptions that exist in the region because of the U.S. unique and one-sided strategic relationship with Israel," Sobhy wrote.
Sobhy said that security challenges for the United States in the region would be alleviated if it were to "truly work" for a permanent solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
While the comments seem bold, Middle East analysts told CNN's Security Clearance that these views are rather common in the region.