World

Delivery Of F-16s To Egypt Halted, Pentagon Says

NPR | July 24, 2013 9:07 a.m.

Contributed By:

Mark Memmott

President Obama is halting the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Egypt for an undetermined period due to the “current situation” on the ground there, the Pentagon said Wednesday. (Via Reuters)

The Associated Press adds that while the delivery of the jets has been delayed, an “annual military exercise with Egypt is still on.”

As Fox News reported earlier, four F-16 fighter jets were to be flown to Egypt on Tuesday “as part of a U.S. military aid package worth more than $1 billion a year.” But “political” issues were expected to keep the jets grounded, Fox added.

Those issues, of course, revolve around the July 3 ousting of democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi. Egypt’s military stepped in to remove Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood supporters from positions of power after millions of Egyptians took to the streets to protest against the year-old government.

While the removal of Morsi from office has the trappings of a military coup, the Obama administration has declined to refer to what happened with that word because U.S. law requires that aid be cut off to nations where a military-led coup has toppled a democratically elected government. The decision to at least delay the delivery of the fighter jets may be a bid by the Obama administration to head off any criticism about continuing to assist Egypt’s military at this time.

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