Obama: Pulling aid may not change Egypt military

US President Barack Obama appeared to suggest in an interview aired on Friday that pulling US aid from Egypt would not reverse the behaviour of its ruling generals after a coup.

Washington: US President Barack Obama appeared to suggest in an interview aired on Friday that pulling US aid from Egypt would not reverse the behaviour of its ruling generals after a coup.

Obama`s administration is currently reviewing the status of US assistance to Cairo following the ouster of ex-president Mohamed Morsi and a subsequent crackdown on Islamists.

"You know, my sense is with Egypt is that the aid itself may not reverse what the interim government does," Obama said in an interview with CNN.

"But I think what most Americans would say is that we have to be very careful about being seen as aiding and abetting actions that we think run contrary to our values and our ideals."

"So what we`re doing right now is doing a full evaluation of the US-Egyptian relationship."

The United States gives Egypt USD 1.3 billion a year in military aid along with several hundred million dollars in development and economic assistance.

But he told CNN that after the events in Egypt there was no doubt that Washington could not go back to "business as usual" with Cairo.

He also defended his administration`s actions following the coup in July.

He said that the White House did a lot of heavy lifting after Morsi`s ouster to try to convince the military to move towards reconciliation but without success.

In return for more than 20 years as a top aid donor to Egypt, Washington benefited from peace between Israel and Egypt, priority access to the Suez Canal and valuable anti-terrorism cooperation.

AFP

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