Unnamed Obama administration officials and a United States Senator indicate that the United States has temporarily suspended most of its military aid to Egypt as turmoil continues to pervade the nation following the ousting of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. The suspension is to include most of the $1.3 billion in military aid as well as weapons and economic aid. But the administration is disputing the report.
Fox News reports, “To date, officials have said that aid is merely under review, and that they would not make a determination on whether the ouster of ex-President Mohammed Morsi qualifies as a coup — because such a finding would, under U.S. law, require the administration to cut off aid.”
But the administration is reportedly treating the overthrow as a coup, at least for the moment. One administration official explained to the Daily Beast, “The decision was we’re going to avoid saying it was a coup, but to stay on the safe side of the law, we are going to act as if the designation has been made for now. By not announcing the decision, it gives the administration the flexibility to reverse it.”
Likewise, Senator Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) office confirmed that claim. In a statement to Fox News radio, the office said that Leahy’s subcommittee “was told that the transfer of military aid was stopped, that this is current practice, not necessarily official policy, and there is no indication of how long it will last.”
Still, the White House continues to deny these statements. “No decisions have been made to cut or postpone aid other than what we have already announced,” a White House official told Fox News.
Similarly, Pentagon spokesman George Little said “no changes have been decided.” “I am unaware of any de facto suspension of assistance,” Little added. “I don’t know where that came from,” he said regarding reports of the aid being suspended.
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Photo of pro-Morsi protestors demonstrating in Cairo, Egypt: AP Images