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US to suspend ‘most’ military aid to Egypt

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States is poised to suspend much of its military aid to Egypt due to Cairo’s sweeping crackdown against supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, US officials said Wednesday.

The decision would hold up the delivery of major weapons, including Apache helicopters, F-16 fighter jets and M1A1 Abrams tanks, officials told AFP, confirming overnight US media reports.

But American aid focused on counter-terrorism efforts — including operations in the Sinai desert near Israel’s border — would likely continue, officials said.

An announcement of the move was expected later this week but officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the administration had already effectively frozen deliveries of expensive military hardware since a July 3 coup and subsequent bloody clampdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Nothing’s been delivered in months,” one said.

After Morsi’s overthrow, the Pentagon called off a planned exercise with Egypt and postponed the delivery of four F-16 fighters.

The White House did not confirm it was to scale back assistance but said Washington would not cut off all aid, which amounts to $1.5 billion a year, most of it in military hardware and training.


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