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BBC|Egypt condemns US decision to suspend military aid

Posted by Ethio Tribune on October 10, 2013

An Egyptian military tank is deployed in the northern Sinai town of Al-Arish (file photo) The US said the withholding of aid to Egypt was not intended to be permanent

Egypt has criticised a decision by the US to suspend a large part of the $1.3bn (£810m) in aid it receives.

Foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said the decision was wrong and Egypt would “not surrender to American pressure and is continuing on its path towards democracy”.

The US announced on Wednesday it was suspending the delivery of large-scale military systems and withholding cash assistance to the Egyptian government.

It follows months of political turmoil.

Since the Egyptian army ousted Mohammed Morsi as president in July, the authorities have clashed repeatedly with his Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

……………………………………………………………………..

    Egypt’s foreign military backers

  • The US: In addition to providing $1.3bn (£810m) it has also trained many senior Egyptian officers in America
  • The EU: According to 2011 official EU figures, Europe annually sells about $405m (£254m) worth of weapons to Egypt
  • France, Spain and Germany are reported to be the main EU donors
  • Other key military donors are believed to be Brazil, Russia and China
  • Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait have all provided cash to Egypt – estimated to be $12bn this year alone – but it is not clear how much of this – if any – was military assistance

……………………………………………………………………..

The US state department launched a review of its aid to Egypt in August after a crackdown that left hundreds of people dead.

On Wednesday, it said it would halt the delivery of Apache helicopters, as well as Harpoon missiles and tank parts.

Washington would also halt a $260m cash transfer and a $300m loan guarantee, officials said.

The freeze was not intended to be permanent, the state department added.

“We will continue to hold 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,” state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The BBC’s Kim Ghattas in Washington says the suspension of aid is more symbolic than a painful cut in essential aid.

The announcement had been expected, with deliveries of military hardware already halted, a military exercise cancelled, and cash aid in effect on hold since the summer, our correspondent says.

The US will continue to provide health and education assistance, and money to help Egypt to ensure security in the increasingly volatile Sinai peninsula.

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