- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
- Oh my God! Costco lists Bible as fiction, Ron Burgundy memoir as gospel
U.S. suspending aid to Egypt to signal displeasure
Wants interim leaders to make progress toward democracy
The Obama administration said Wednesday it is suspending hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid, including the delivery of defense equipment and cash, to Egypt in an attempt to nudge the interim government in Cairo to pave the way for an inclusive, democratically elected government.
“Holding up in the deliveries of hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance is a pretty clear message” about U.S. concerns over undemocratic developments in Egypt, a senior administration official said in a background briefing.
The U.S. will withhold F-16 fighter jets, M1A1 tank kits, Harpoon missiles and Apache helicopters from Egypt's military. The Obama administration also will withhold $260 million in cash assistance to the Egyptian government.
“This decision will be reviewed on a periodic basis, particularly as we look at Egypt’s progress on the democratic transition,” said a second senior administration official who also spoke on background.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel discussed the administration’s decision in a phone call with Egyptian army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Wednesday afternoon. A third senior administration official described the call, which lasted 40 minutes, as “very friendly.”
“Secretary Hagel made the key point that the U.S.-Egyptian security relationship and assistance relationship is continuing, and made the points that we’re continuing to provide assistance on the issues that advance both our vital security objectives,” the official said.
These issues include countering terrorism and proliferation, border security, ensuring security in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, maintaining peace with Israel and providing parts for U.S.-origin military equipment as well as military training and education.
“There will be no immediate diminution in Egypt’s ability to be a strong security partner of the United States,” another senior official said.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian court announced Wednesday that Mr. Morsi will go on trial on Nov. 4 on charges of inciting his supporters to kill his opponents while he was in office. Mr. Morsi has been held at an undisclosed location since his ouster.
The Obama administration has grappled with how to deal with Egypt since Mr. Morsi’s ouster. It does not publicly describe Mr. Morsi’s ouster as a coup, a description that would require the suspension of all aid to the country, according to U.S. law. Since July, the administration has canceled joint military exercises with Egypt's military and suspended the delivery of F-16s.
“The Egyptian military has handled the recent transition clumsily, but they have begun a democratic transition which will serve the Egyptian people well in the future and have also worked to maintain regional stability,” said Rep. Eliot L. Engel of New York, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. “During this fragile period we should be rebuilding partnerships in Egypt that enhance our bilateral relationship, not undermining them.”
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, accused the administration of “trying to have it both ways, by suspending some aid but continuing other aid.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- U.S. teacher shot dead in Benghazi after al Qaeda call for violence
- Syria nightmare: Fresh fears about al Qaeda fighters there returning home as sleeper terrorists
- Iran official: Sanctions 'utterly failed' to stop nuclear program
- China accuses Japan of raising tensions over new air defense zone
- Joe Biden meets Xi Jinping in China to try to defuse tensions on air defense zone
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- President Obama acknowledges living with illegal immigrant uncle: report
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
White House pets gone wild!