U.S. halts apache helicopters, missiles to Egypt

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The United States on Wednesday confirmed it was halting the delivery of Apache helicopters, as well as Harpoon missiles and tank parts to Egypt's military leaders.

Washington's review of deliveries of military aid, which includes parts for M1/A1 tanks, was not meant to be permanent, however, U.S. officials stressed, saying only that the armaments were worth “hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance.”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Wednesday in a statement the decsision would freeze “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,” according to AFP.

The aid cut includes a $260 million cash transfer and a planned $300 million loan guarantee to the Cairo government, a congressional source told Reuters after members of Congress were briefed by officials from the U.S. State Department about the administration’s plans.

The United States, however, said it will continue to provide aid to Egypt for counterterrorism, border security, Sinai security, and counter-proliferation.

Following Mursi’s ouster by the military in July, the Pentagon cancelled a planned exercise with Egypt and postponed the delivery of four F-16 fighters.

The United States has provided billions in aid to Cairo since the 1979 Camp David peace deal that ensures peace between Egypt and Israel. The aid was also aimed for priority access to the Suez Canal and anti-terrorism cooperation.

The United States has deposited $584 million in remaining military aid funds for the fiscal year 2013 in a federal reserve account pending the outcome of the policy review, according to State Department officials.

(With Reuters and AFP)

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