WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says the United States should continue to provide aid to Egypt but she declined to call the North African nation an ally.
Pelosi, D-Calif., at a news conference Thursday pushed back against Republicans who want to stop aid to the Muslim nation after violent protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
Pelosi said Egypt was "a force in the Middle East" that remained important to U.S. interests in the region.
"I don't know about the word 'ally' -- we'll see -- but the fact is that we have an interest in Egypt's success, and let's hope that we can do that as allies," she added.
Protesters upset by an Internet video critical of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad stormed the U.S. Embassy Tuesday, tearing down the U.S. flag.
A separate attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi killed the U.S. ambassador and three other staff members.
Libyan leadership has cooperated in investigating the Benghazi deaths, drawing praise from U.S. lawmakers. However, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi didn't condemn the attacks until Thursday.
While Morsi said defaming Muhammad was "unacceptable," he added that "we strongly condemn and reject" the killing of the ambassador.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., called Morsi's delayed response "troubling" and "frankly unacceptable."