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
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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid