U.S. delaying fighter jet delivery to Egypt

by
July 25, 2013

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is delaying delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt in light of the military overthrow of Mohammed Morsi as president, but it has not decided whether to suspend military aid more broadly, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

Pentagon press secretary George Little said President Barack Obama made the decision to hold up the F-16 delivery while the administration continues to review options and consult with Congress on military assistance generally.

The four F-16s were to be delivered under a previously arranged sale of 20. Eight of the F-16s were delivered in January. After the four originally set for delivery this month the final eight were to be sent later this year.

The delay was the first direct action the United States has taken since the Egyptian military ousted Morsi and installed a new civilian government. Under U.S. law, military aid to a country that underwent a coup d’etat must be suspended. But the Obama administration says it is still trying to determine if what happened three weeks ago in Egypt was in fact a coup. Egypt is a key ally in the Middle East and the administration is reluctant to cut off the $1.3 billion aid package it sends to Cairo every year.

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