US Cutting Major Military Aid to Egypt

Obama administration to risk damaging ties with Middle East ally

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Oct 9, 2013 5:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – Shifting its stance with an Arab ally, Washington will cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt in response to the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the crackdown by the military-backed government on his supporters. The US provides $1.5 billion in aid each year to Egypt. While the State Department did not provide a dollar amount of what was being withheld, most of it was expected to be military aid. A US official said the aid being withheld included 10 Apache helicopters at a cost of about $500 million.

The US decision to slash aid to Egypt will create new friction in Washington's already uneasy relations with the government that ousted the first democratically elected Egyptian president. And the consequences won't end there: The move will anger Persian Gulf states and push Egypt to seek assistance from US rivals. The US will still provide funding in areas including health, education, and counter-terrorism. The announcement comes the day after a US official claimed that Washington was cutting all aid to Egypt. In other Egypt news, the politically charged trial of former President Mohammed Morsi has been scheduled to start on Nov. 4, the AP reports.

In this Wednesday, April 24, 2013, file photo, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stands with an Egyptian army official before laying a wreath at the tomb of late President Anwar al-Sadat in Cairo.   (Jim Watson)
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