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Sep 14, 2012 at 12:44am IST

Egypt neither an ally nor an enemy: Obama

Washington: Terming Egypt's newly elected government as neither an ally nor an enemy, US President Barack Obama said he was watching closely as to how Cairo responds to the attack on the US embassy.

Obama said it would be a "big problem", if the Egyptian government doesn't respond to the incident and ensures satisfactory security.

Obama said the democratically-elected government in Egypt, that was formed after the overthrow of the Hosni Mubarak regime, is a new dispensation that is still trying to "find its way".

Egypt neither an ally nor an enemy: Obama

Barack Obama said it would be a "big problem", if the Egyptian government doesn't respond to the incident and ensures satisfactory security.

"I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy... I think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident," Obama told the Spanish Telemundo channel in an 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 insistence that our embassy is protected, our personnel is protected," he said, referring to the protests during which demonstrators breached the US Embassy in Cairo.

He said if the government takes actions that indicates it is "not taking those responsibilities, as all other countries do where we have embassies, I think that's going to be a real big problem".

The US President, however, rejected the idea of reconsidering foreign aid to Egypt and Libya, as being demanded by some lawmakers.

He said the US "doesn't have an option of withdrawing from the world... we're the one indispensable nation".

Despite the Benghazi tragedy that claimed the lives of four Americans, including the Ambassador, Obama said Libya is a "very friendly" government.

"The vast majority of Libyans welcomed the United States involvement. They understand that it's because of us that they got rid of a dictator who had crushed their spirits for 40 years," he said.

Obama hoped that the US would be able to capture those who were responsible for the killing of the US Ambassador to Libya.

"Our hope is to be able to capture them... but we're going to have to obviously cooperate with the Libyan government. And you know, I have confidence that we will stay on this relentlessly, because Chris Stevens, he's somebody who actually advised me and Secretary Clinton during the original Libyan uprising.

"He was somebody who Libyans recognised as being on the side of the people. And we're going get help. We're going to get cooperation on this," he said.

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