News / Middle East

US Suspends Most Military Assistance to Egypt

US Suspends Large Part of Military Assistance to Egypti
X
October 10, 2013 5:48 AM
The United States is suspending the delivery of major weapons to Egypt over delays in progress toward an inclusive government. The decision follows the ouster of the country's first democratically-elected leader.

US Suspends Large Part of Military Assistance to Egypt

TEXT SIZE - +
— The United States is suspending the delivery of major weapons to Egypt over delays in progress toward an inclusive government.  The decision follows the ouster of the country's first democratically-elected leader.  

The Obama administration says it is holding back the delivery of hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of jets, tanks, missiles, and attack helicopters, pending what a U.S. statement calls "credible progress toward an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government through free and fair elections."

Following a review of events since the military toppled President Mohamed Morsi in July, President Barack Obama has also decided to suspend $260 million in assistance to the interim government that followed that coup.

A senior U.S. official says suspending these programs may not lead directly to greater democracy or a more inclusive government in Egypt, but it makes clear that "the United States will not support actions that run contrary to our interests and our principles."

President Obama has said there can be no business as usual following the ouster of President Morsi, and a senior administration official says this suspension is a way of expressing that point.

WATCH: Related video from VOA's Zlatica Hoke
US Suspends Delivery of Military Hardware to Egypti
X
October 10, 2013 5:26 AM
The United States is suspending some of its military aid to Egypt as well as cash support for the interim military-backed government, citing a lack of democratic progress and the use of excessive violence against supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been protesting since Mr. Morsi's July ouster, despite the government's efforts to prevent them from paralyzing Egypt's major cities.


But it is far from a complete break in U.S. assistance.  Washington will continue to support programs that it says directly benefit the Egyptian people, such as health, education, and private sector development.

The United States also will continue to fund programs that advance what it calls "vital security objectives," including counterterrorism, counterproliferation, border security, peace with Israel, security in the Sinai Peninsula, military training, and spare parts for U.S.-manufactured military equipment.

Congressional Quarterly senior editor Jonathan Broder says President Obama has chosen the middle ground, under pressure from those critical of his not taking a harder line against Egypt's military for toppling President Morsi.

"There is the image that President Obama wants to present to the world as someone who stands up for human rights and for democracy.  And the images of Egyptian soldiers killing protesters on the streets of Cairo is a very negative one in the United States, and there’s pressure on him from human rights organizations and from some in Congress to suspend the aid," said Broder.

A senior administration official says U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel discussed the move in a 40-minute telephone call with Egyptian Defense Minister General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi Wednesday, in which they reaffirmed the importance of the U.S.-Egyptian relationship in maintaining stability in the broader Middle East.

In an interview with Alhurra television, Broder said al-Sisi is key to easing U.S. concerns about Egypt's way forward.

"I think that there is a much better chance of the United States being convinced that the current interim government in Egypt is legitimate if two things happen.  One is if General al-Sisi moves the country toward fair and free elections.  And number two, and very importantly, if the violence, if the level of violence goes down," he said.

In its written statement, the Obama administration says it wants to see Egypt succeed and believes its 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.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid