The United States will contemplate restarting aid to Egypt “on the basis of performance” that encourages democracy through elections, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday, a day after the his department suspended some aid to the country.
Kerry said that the halting of some aid did not mean that the United States was ending its relationship with the country’s military-backed government.
The interim government understands very well our commitment to the success of this government... and by no means is this a withdrawal from our relationship or a severing of our serious commitment to helping the government,” Kerry told reporters in a new conference in Malaysia, according to Reuters.
The U.S. government Wednesday stopped shipments of several military systems and suspended $260 million in monetary aid to Egypt’s army.
Egypt has called Washington’s position “flawed” and said it would not bow to American pressure, AFP reported.
An Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman on Thursday criticized the decision by the United States to halt some military and economic aid to the army-backed government.
“The decision was wrong. Egypt will not surrender to American pressure and is continuing its path towards democracy as set by the roadmap,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty told a private Egyptian radio station.
The aid cuts are a pronounced shift in the U.S. government’s previously unwavering support to Egypt, and will stop the delivery costly systems such as F-16 fighter jets, M1A1 Abrams tank parts, Apache helicopters and Harpoon missiles.
The United States has provided billions in aid to Cairo since the 1979 Camp David peace deal that ensures peace between Egypt and Israel.
In the wake of the summer's events where Egyptian security forces cracked down on Muslim Brotherhood supporters, U.S. President Barack Obama had ordered his national security team to review the total of $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt.
(With Reuters and AFP)