The Guardian reports: The US government is considering whether to suspend a delivery of Apache helicopters to Egypt, the White House said on Tuesday, with President Obama under increasing pressure over his response to the crisis in Cairo.
Secretary of state John Kerry was due to attend a top-level cabinet meeting on Tuesday to discuss cutting aid to Egypt as it emerged that the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood had been arrested in Cairo.
At a news briefing, the White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said the government was evaluating the delivery of “tranches” of aid to Egypt on a “case-by-case basis”, but said it was inaccurate to say that aid had been stopped.
“We’re evaluating these tranches based on a case-by-case basis. We’ll evaluate each one,” Earnest said.
“I know that it’s been publically reported that there is at some point a scheduled delivery of Apache helicopters coming up. That is an example of the kind of aid that is currently under review. A decision about the delivery of those helicopters has not been decided at this point.”
The US provides $1.3bn in aid to Egypt each year and has refused to withdraw that assistance. The Department of Defense launched a review into the delivery of that aid “in all forms” on 15 August, the day after the government crackdown on two pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo. It is yet to report its findings.
Earnest’s comments contradict the statements of David Carle, a spokesman for senator Patrick Leahy, who said on Monday that the State Department and the foreign operations appropriations subcommittee had been told the “transfer of military aid was stopped”.