(CAIRO) — Despite delays to name an interim prime minister and days of violent protests, Egypt’s ambassador to the U.S. Mohamed Tawfik defended the military’s ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, telling ABC’s This Week it wasn’t the army who took over but the army acting on behalf of the people.
“Egypt has not undergone a military coup and it is certainly not run by the military,” Tawfik said Sunday. “Today there is an interim president in place.”
Tawfik said that they plan to form a new government that represents the people of Egypt, something he claims Morsi did not do. “President Morsi did not act in the interests of the vast majority of Egyptians, he only looked at his own clique. You can’t be a democratically-elected president and act that way,” the ambassador said.
He called upon the Muslim Brotherhood to come back to the negotiating table, acknowledge the mistakes they made and then join in the efforts to create a brighter future for Egypt.
“There is room for everyone in Egypt but there is no room for violence,” Tawfik said. “There is no room for incitement to hatred and incitement to commit acts of violence.”
The Muslim Brotherhood sees the situation quite differently.
“It’s military junta,” said Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad , who denounced the military’s move as a coup against democracy. “Tanks on the streets, troops on protests, military people shooting civilians, I mean it’s every ingredient of a full police state. I mean what else are people waiting for?” he told ABC News.
“I lived most of my life under the oppressive state of Mubarak, my father did the same under different regimes, my grandfather did the same, it’s been too long and this country has been robbed for its freedoms. I’m not willing to let my son and my daughter inherit this state in that mess.”
El-Haddad said that he, and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood, were willing to die for their cause.
“I will stand in front of that tank even if it rolls on our dead bodies,” he said. “There is no plan B. We will stick by our principles. We either return the president back to his rightful place, or they are just going to have to shoot us in the street.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Euan McKirdy, Bryony Jones and Barry Neild, CNN
Michael Pearson, Faith Karimi and Ian Lee, CNN
Steve Almasy, CNN