The U.S. government plans to withhold $260 million incash assistance and delivery of F-16s, M1A1 tank kits along with other military systems to Egypt until the country makes “credible progress” toward an inclusive democratically elected government, State Department officials said Wednesday
The announcement comes as instability continues in the country — difficulties that emerged following a popular uprising and protests which resulted in the ousting of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi earlier this year. The Egyptian military has effectively been in charge of the country since that time.
“The United States wants to see Egypt succeed, and we believe the U.S.-Egypt partnership will be strongest when Egypt is represented by an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government based on the rule of law, fundamental freedoms and an open and competitive economy,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Pskaki in a written statement.
The U.S.-Egyptian military-to-military partnership has been both long-standing and substantial. The U.S. is known to provide Egypt with large amounts of cash as well as major weapons systems for their military.
Some of the aid will continue, however much of the money will be cut and the U.S. will no-longer deliver certain military systems and technologies, a State Department said.
“We will continue to provide parts for U.S.-origin military equipment as well as military training and education. We will, however, continue to hold the delivery of certain 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,” said Pskaki.
The statement also states that the U.S. will continue assistance to help secure Egypt’s borders, counter terrorism and proliferation, and ensure security in the Sinai.
The State Department statement reflects a feeling of unease regarding the ongoing uncertainty and instability in the country.
“The United States continues to support a democratic transition and oppose violence as a means of resolving differences within Egypt. 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,” the statement reads.