Kerry: US Suspension of Arms to Egypt Could be Lifted
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that Washington's suspension of military hardware deliveries to Egypt was "not a withdrawal" of US friendship and could be lifted "based on performance."
"By no means is this a withdrawal from our relationship or a severing of our serious commitment to helping the government" transition to democracy, Kerry said.
The US is reducing its military aid to Egypt following a crackdown by the authorities on the supporters of the ousted President Mohamed Mursi which has left hundreds of people dead and locked thousands more behind bars, AFP reported.
The US provides $1.5bn in aid each year to Egypt. While the State Department did not provide the total amount of the aid being cut, it amounts to hundreds of millions in mostly military aid.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US would withhold delivery of certain "large-scale military systems", as well as cash assistance to the Egyptian government, until "credible progress" is made toward an inclusive civilian government set up through free and fair elections.
"The United States wants to see Egypt succeed, and we believe the US-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," Psaki said in a statement.