Middle East

U.S. Discusses What To Do With Aid To Egypt

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/214065321/214065306" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President Obama's national security team met Tuesday to talk about policy options on Egypt. The country's military-backed government has been cracking down on Islamist protesters. The U.S. seems to have little influence or leverage over the situation. But it does give Egypt $1.5 billion a year — most of it to the military.


This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

The political crisis in Egypt could be on the verge of yet another dramatic turn: A judge in Cairo just ordered that former dictator Hosni Mubarak be released from jail.

GREENE: It is unclear at this point whether Mubarak will go free. Prosecutors have sought to try him on a series of charges. His release would likely intensify the ongoing turmoil in the country. Now, President Obama's national security team met yesterday afternoon to talk about their policy options on Egypt.

MONTAGNE: The U.S. seems to have little influence over the situation, even though it does give Egypt one-and-a-half billion dollars in aid a year, most of it to the military.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says all that is under review, but it's complicated.


JOSH EARNEST: Providing foreign assistance is not like a spigot. You don't turn it off and on, or turn it up or down like a faucet. Assistance is provided episodically.

MONTAGNE: The last installment of this year's military aid, $585 million, could be withheld.

GREENE: An aide to Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, who chairs a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, says his office was told that the transfer of military aid has already stopped. White House officials deny that.

MONTAGNE: Senator Leahy is among those reminding the Obama administration that, by law, the U.S. has to cut off aid when a democratically elected government is deposed by a military coup or decree. The White House has carefully avoided calling the ouster of Mohamed Morsi a coup.

GREENE: And the White House is taking its time reviewing U.S. aid to Egypt, which dates back to the 1979 peace accord that Egypt signed with Israel.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from