US cuts millions in military aid to Egypt

US cuts millions in military aid to Egypt
Thu Oct 10, 2013 09:34:43

The United States has suspended a large part of its military and other cash aid to Egypt, the State Department said.

The US has put on hold delivery of “large scale” military systems, such as tanks, F-16 jets and Apache helicopters, a source told Reuters.

In a press release, the US State Department said that as a result of the review directed by President Obama the decision has been made to “recalibrate” assistance to Egypt to best advance mutual interests. The US will still provide military training and education as well as assist with counter terrorism and help securing the Sinai.

“We will, however, continue to hold the delivery of certain large-scale military systems and cash assistance to the government pending credible progress toward an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government through free and fair elections,” the release says.

The Congressional source spoke with Reuters after members of Congress were briefed by US State Department officials about the administration's plans to cut off part of the massive aid package to Egypt. 

Besides heavy military equipment supplies the US is also cancelling the delivery of Harpoon missiles.

A planned $300 million loan guarantee for Egypt will be halted, as well as a pending $260 million cash transfer, the source added. 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has reportedly called Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to tell him about the developments. Meanwhile, the likely US policy shift towards Egypt’s interim military government was met with a grain of skepticism.

On Tuesday, the US government announced it was planning to make public the future its “assistance relationship with Egypt” after a number of media outlets suggested the US was cutting all military aid to Egypt.

The decision has come three months after the July military coup against Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and the turmoil that removed the Muslim Brotherhood from power in Egypt. 

Although in August, the US already effectively suspended some of the aid by refusing to release a $585 million payment, the administration thus far has not officially recognized the July events as a military coup, as acknowledging that would force the US to stop all military aid to Egypt.


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