The U.S. State Department has directly contradicted Barack Obama, insisting that Egypt is an ally of America, despite the president's statement public statement that 'I don't think that we would consider them an ally'.
In an interview with Spanish-language television station Telemundo on Wednesday night, Obama said: 'I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we do not consider them an enemy.'
'They're a new government that is trying to find its way. They were democratically elected. I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident.'
The bald statement raised eyebrows throughout the diplomatic community because Egypt, along with Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel, has long been considered an American ally in the Middle East.
Egypt was designated as 'Major Non-NATO Ally' in 1989 when the U.S. Congress first passed a law creating that status. The status gives Egypt special privileges in cooperating with the United States, especially in the security and technology arenas.
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