Egypt criticises US decision to halt aid

Reuters , Thursday 10 Oct 2013

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman says US decision to halt some aid to Egypt pending progress on democracy and human rights is 'wrong'

Egypt on Thursday criticised a decision by the United States to halt some military and economic aid to the interim government in the wake of a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Washington's decision halts tank and fighter aircraft deliveries but continues support for counter-terrorism activities. Egypt is the second-largest recipient of US aid after Israel.

"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 army ousted president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July after millions took to the streets to demand his removal. The new interim government presented a political "roadmap" it promised would lead to fair elections.

The Brotherhood refuses to work with the military, which it says staged a coup and sabotaged Egypt's democratic gains after a revolt toppled autocratic president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Washington said it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles as well as $260 million in cash aid from the military-backed government, pending progress on democracy and human rights.

But the State Department said it would continue military support for counterterrorism, counter-proliferation and security in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders US ally Israel. It will also continue to provide funding in areas such as education, health and private sector development.

This story has been edited by Ahram Online

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