Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham (R) address a news conference in Cairo, 6 August, 2013.(Photo: Reuters
An Egyptian presidential aide rejected statements by US Senator John McCain describing the popularly-backed military overthrow of Mohamed Morsi as a coup d'etat.
"John McCain is distorting facts. His clumsy statements are unacceptable in form and substance," presidential aide Ahmed El-Muslimani told Ahram Arabic website Monday evening.
McCain, who made the comments at a press conference in Cairo on Monday, is the first US official visiting Egypt to refer to the removal of Morsi as a military coup. Secretary of State John Kerry said last week that the Egyptian army had "restored democracy" and averted civil war by deposing the Islamist president.
A source from Egypt's foreign ministry told state news agency MENA that Egypt's interim foreign minister Nabil Fahmy was dismayed at McCain's statements and that the ministry is preparing an official response.
McCain expressed concerns during a news conference in Cairo earlier on Monday over the country's political process, saying the US "cannot support Egypt that is not moving to a democracy."
US Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham visited Egypt to take part in mediation efforts between Egypt's political rivals following Morsi's ouster.
McCain also urged that senior Brotherhood figures who have been detained since the 3 July ouster of Morsi be released.