White House denies cutting Egypt aid

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The White House on Tuesday pushed back on a report that it planned to freeze aid to Egypt, but left the door open for at least some cutbacks.

“The reports that we are halting all military assistance to Egypt are false,” National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement. “We will announce the future of our assistance relationship with Egypt in the coming days, but as the President made clear at UNGA, that assistance relationship will continue.”

CNN reported on Tuesday that the U.S. planned to cut off military aid to Egypt, which costs about $1.3 billion annually.


CNN cited a U.S. official who requested anonymity as saying “an accumulation of events” in the country, including deadly military crackdowns against protesters, has provoked the Obama administration to reassess its position on foreign aid to the country.



The outlet said an official announcement was expected later this week. Still, Hayden’s statement left room for the White House to cut back on at least some aid.


Earlier this year, the Egyptian military ousted President Mohamed Morsi and overthrew his government. The White House has declined to call the uprising a “coup,” because that would have triggered an automatic freeze in aid.



However, violence in the country erupted frequently over the summer, with reports of the military engaging in deadly attacks against unarmed protesters and supporters of the deposed Muslim Brotherhood.

The bloodshed provoked a chorus of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to call on the U.S. to freeze aid until democracy is restored in the country.