US reviewing annual military aid to Egypt
Washington: US President Barack Obama has directed the review of USD 1.3 billion military aid to Egypt in the aftermath of use of force by the Egyptian military to quell protest in the country, the White House said.
"The President has directed all the relevant agencies and departments in the administration to review the assistance provided to the Egyptian government," White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday.
He said review is ongoing in light of actions that are taken by the interim Egyptian government.
Noting that "certainly there are consequences" for the actions taken by the interim government, Earnest said the US has taken several steps including delayed delivery of the F-16s and cancellation of the joint military exercise known as Bright Star.
"So there have been some consequences for the actions that have been taken by the interim government. There have also been consequences for other nations, that there are other nations that have raised concerns in the region and in Europe and other places about the actions taken by the interim Egyptian government," Earnest said.
He added this is not something that is in the interest of the United States and it`s allies in the region and around the world.
He said it is incumbent upon the interim government in Egypt to follow through on their promise to transition back to a democratically elected, civilian government.
"It`s important for the interim government in Egypt to respect basic human rights. It includes everything from the right to peaceful protest, and end of the politically motivated detentions," he said.
Politically motivated detentions inside Egypt should end, including the detention of former President Mohamed Morsi, he added.
"We have a multifaceted relationship with Egypt. We certainly value that relationship. I think that it`s fair to say that Egyptian government does as well," he said.
Earnest added that purpose of the review is to determine what impact it would have on national security, whether it`s in compliance with the law, and is it going to get us closer to seeing the kind of outcome in Egypt that US would like to see, which is the prompt return to a democratically elected, civilian government.
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