US Freezes Arms Systems, Cash Assistance To Egypt

The United States says it is cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in its annual aid to Egypt, pending Cairo’s move toward establishing a civilian government through fair election.
US President Barack Obama.
US President Barack Obama.

Washington has frozen “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,” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement on Wednesday.
The US decision to “recalibrate” its annual USD 1.5 billion aid to Egypt will halt the delivery of Apache helicopters, Harpoon missiles, F-16 fighter jets and M1A1 Abrams tanks.

US officials have, however, stressed that Washington would not be cutting off all aid to its long-standing ally, of which USD 1.3 billion goes to military hardware and training.

The Pentagon had already canceled a planned war game with Egypt and delayed the delivery of four F-16 fighters following a July 3 military coup that deposed Egypt’s former President Mohamed Morsi.

The army dissolved the parliament, suspended the constitution and declared Chief Justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court Adly Mahmoud Mansour as the interim president.

The ouster of Egypt’s first democratically elected head of state was followed by a bloody crackdown on protests, called by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to demand Morsi’s reinstatement.

The army-backed interim government arrested more than 2,000 Brotherhood members, including its supreme leader, Mohamed Badie.

It also stripped the Muslim Brotherhood of NGO status on October 3, shortly after a court order banned the Brotherhood from operating and confiscated its assets.

The court also banned any institution branching out from or belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood.

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