WASHINGTON, July 7 (UPI) -- Nabil Fahmy, the former Egyptian ambassador to the United States, said Sunday the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi was not a military coup.
"You have 20 to 30 million people out on the street. The military have the choice between intervention and chaos and they had to respond to that, have the president responded to the people," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I think the military acted in response to the people, not to their initiative."
He added that the military wasn't acting to seize power.
"They did oust the president, that's true. But then they handed over government immediately to the interim president. So the fact that they seized power or wanted to seize power is frankly incorrect," Fahmy said.
He also noted that Morsi could have done more to prevent his ousting.
"Any president who has that kind of opposition has to understand he has a problem, he has made mistakes, and he has to respond to them. Had the president responded to the people, we would have been able to find--find different ways to do this," Fahmy said.
Mohamed ElBaradei, who was to be named the interim leader of Egypt until the announcement was retracted, was set to appear on "Meet the Press," but canceled.
Host David Gregory said ElBaradei said he had laryngitis and a fever.
"He told me that he expects to be named as early as today firmly the leader of Egypt, but he also said, his words, that the country is falling apart," Gregory said.