President Barack Obama says he will decide whether Egypt is an ally or an enemy of the United States in part according to the way the fledgling government in Cairo responds to the violent assault on the American Embassy there on Monday.

“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,” Obama said. “And if they take actions that indicate they’re not taking responsibilities, as all other countries do where we have embassies, I think that’s going to be a real big problem.”

The president—his handling of the so-called “Arab Spring” under fresh scrutiny after attacks on American diplomatic posts in Egypt, Libya and Yemen—had been asked by Telemundo whether he sees Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s government as an ally.

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