News / USA

Obama Holds Cabinet-Level Meeting on Egypt Aid

White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest answers questions during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Aug., 19, 2013.
White House principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest answers questions during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Aug., 19, 2013.
Kent Klein
President Barack Obama held a Cabinet-level meeting Tuesday as part of an ongoing review of U.S. aid to Egypt. White House officials are considering possible responses to the Egyptian interim government’s violent crackdown on protesters.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest had confirmed to reporters Tuesday that the meeting would take place, but he downplayed its significance.

“These kinds of national security meetings are not uncommon. The president does chair them on a pretty regular basis, and I am sure it is not even the first one they have had on this topic. At this point, I would not anticipate any major announcements related to our aid and assistance in the immediate aftermath of this meeting,” he said.

US Administration Reviews Aid to Egypti
August 21, 2013 10:52 AM
President Barack Obama met Tuesday with his national security team to review U.S. aid to Egypt in light of recent actions by its interim leadership. But U.S. officials have rejected reports that the aid to a longtime ally has been suspended in the wake of Egypt's military crackdown on Islamists, which has left about 1,000 people dead and many others arrested. Zlatica Hoke has a report from Washington.

Earnest denied media reports that the administration has decided to cut off some or all U.S. aid to Egypt. He said the White House review of its policy continues.    

“That review that the president ordered in early July has not concluded. And published reports to the contrary that suggest that assistance to Egypt have been cut off are not accurate,” said Earnest.

The White House review has been under way since the Egyptian military, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, deposed democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi, who had been moving away from democracy.

Morsi remains in custody, and almost 1,000 people have died in recent days, with the interim military government targeting Islamist demonstrations.

The United States sends $1.5 billion of assistance to Egypt each year, about $1.3 billion of it for military purposes. U.S. federal law requires the cutoff of aid to any country in which a military coup has displaced an elected government.

The White House meeting was arranged after an aide to U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy said his Senate subcommittee had been informed that the “transfer of military aid was stopped.” Earnest denied that aid had been stopped, as did spokesmen at the State Department and the Pentagon.

The administration is looking for a way to express its disapproval of the violence in Egypt without further losing influence with the country’s leaders.

If the U.S. suspends aid to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Arab neighbors have pledged to fill the void.  

The official Saudi news agency quoted the nation's foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, as saying the Arab and Muslim nations are "rich" with people and capabilities and "will provide a helping hand."

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Comment Sorting
by: pilisugsug from: USA
August 20, 2013 8:35 PM
How can we the american people ever trust Obama. Our president endorsed the Muslim brotherhoods who are known for murdering christians, etc. Obama should have been appalled by the killing of christians and the burning of churches.But he stood mute. His non reaction to these killings tell me that Obama could care less. Maybe Jeremiah Wright's sermons has had a lasting effect on Obama. Or perhaps Obama's Muslim father greatly influenced his mind set. I applaud the Saudis for taking a stand against the brotherhood.

by: Dr. Qassimyar from: CA, USA
August 20, 2013 8:28 PM
For sure the killer military regime will get the 1.6 billion American tax-payers money annually to suppress democracy for another 30 years in Egypt similar to the killer Mubarak regime. The removal of freely elected government in Egypt by the killer generals left no doubt that the claim of democracy by the US and its European colonial allies is absolutely a false political propaganda. Thank you. Dr. Qassimyar
In Response

by: George Michael from: Washington DC
August 22, 2013 8:12 AM
to the skeptics who don't know anything about Egypt. the Army of Egypt is part of the people of Egypt. The army is beloved, trusted and relied upon as a last resort to protect the infant democracy from hijacking by extreme religious fascism.

Dr. Mustapha Hegazy summarized what the Egyptian people feel if the Army wanted to takeover, they could have done that and not allow free election in the first place, they could have rigged the election and got a puppet, but they didn't. the army gave the power to the elected president but then he made a mockery of the political process and abused his power.

The Muslim Brotherhood showed beyond any doubt, they are not qualified to govern. ON the other hand the Egyptian People showed a level of maturity and wisdom that is the envy of the civilized world. "My beloved people of Egypt, says the Lord" in the Bible", and " the best soldiers on the face of the earth" says the Koran.Egypt believe me the best is yet to come

by: Al from: USA
August 20, 2013 7:47 PM
Indeed, the USA is no longer important to the extent that Saudi Arabia has challenged it on Egypt. The issue here is one of credibility. The USA must reevaluate its foreign policy strategies by moving away from alliance with dictaors and rulers to working the peoples to build democracy. America's alliance must be based on those values we cherish here in the US (freedom, human rights, etc).

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