The U.S. will cut some military aid to Egypt following a military overthrow of the country’s democratically-elected government.
The U.S. will continue delivering certain forms of aid — health, education, and border protection of the volatile Sinai — but will “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,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement on Wednesday. The U.S. provides $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt. The statement did not detail how much it would be withholding.
The decision to cut military aid follows a review ordered by President Barack Obama, Psaki said. “The United States continues to support a democratic transition and oppose violence as a means of resolving differences within Egypt,” she said, adding that the U.S. would “continue to work with the interim government to help it move toward our shared goals in an atmosphere free of violence and intimidation.”
The statement comes days after more than 50 people were killed across Egypt as national celebrations turned violent. The country has seen several days of violence since the military, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, overthrew the government of Mohamed Morsi, supported by the Muslim Brotherhood, in early July.
Here’s the full statement:
STATEMENT BY JEN PSAKI, SPOKESPERSON
U.S. Assistance to Egypt
The United States and Egypt have a longstanding partnership and many shared interests, including: promoting a stable, inclusive and prosperous Egypt; securing regional peace; and countering extremism. The United States wants to see Egypt succeed, and we believe the U.S.-Egypt partnership will be strongest when Egypt is represented by an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government based on the rule of law, fundamental freedoms and an open and competitive economy.
As a result of the review directed by President Obama, we have decided to maintain our relationship with the Egyptian government, while recalibrating our assistance to Egypt to best advance our interests. The United States will work with the interim Egyptian government and Congress to continue to provide support that directly benefits the Egyptian people in areas like health, education, and private sector development. We will continue assistance to help secure Egypt’s borders, counter terrorism and proliferation, and ensure security in the Sinai. We will continue to provide parts for U.S.-origin military equipment as well as military training and education.
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 United States continues to support a democratic transition and oppose violence as a means of resolving differences within Egypt. We will continue to review the decisions regarding our assistance periodically and will continue to work with the interim government to help it move toward our shared goals in an atmosphere free of violence and intimidation.
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