Egypt angered by US military aid suspension

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Supporters of army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi wave the Egyptian flag as an army helicopter flies over Tahrir Square in Cairo on July 16, 2013. Egypt's authorities formally detained Mohamed Morsi on suspicion of collaborating with Palestinian militants in murdering policemen and staging prison breaks, as tens of thousands of the deposed president's supporters and opponents staged rival rallies.

Credit:

Khaled Desouki

Egyptian authorities expressed sharp displeasure with Washington Thursday after the United States announced a temporary suspension of some military aid to the troubled nation, according to BBC News.

"The decision was wrong," Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told Radio FM, a private Egyptian radio station, according to Reuters.

"Egypt will not surrender to American pressure and is continuing its path towards democracy as set by the roadmap," he added.

The US State Department said Wednesday that unless the Egyptian authorities could demonstrate "credible progress" toward ensuring human rights and democracy, America would no longer provide Cairo with tanks, fighter aircrafts, helicopters, missiles and would withhold $260 million in cash, reported Reuters.

US authorities indicated that the suspension was only temporary.

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Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that the withholding was not a "withdrawal from our relationship."

"The interim government understands very well our commitment to the success of this government," Kerry said.

"We will continue to review the decisions regarding our assistance periodically and will continue to work with the interim government to help it move toward our shared goals in an atmosphere free of violence and intimidation," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Democratically elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was overthrown amid protests in July. The country's military-backed interim government has since imposed a harsh crackdown on dissent, and hundreds of Egyptians, including supporters of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, have been killed in the unrest.

The State Department began reviewing its aid program to Egypt in August. After from Israel, Egypt receives more US military aid than any other country — support worth $1.3 billion.

Some aid, including funding for health and education as well as counterterrorism, will continue to flow to Egypt.