Obama Administration works with National Security Council to decide if Egypt should still get U.S. aid
POSTED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 9:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The Obama Administration could be closer to a decision today on whether to suspend $1.5 billion dollars in U.S. aid to Egypt. Tuesday, the president met with his National Security Council, Secretary Of State John Kerry and other members of his cabinet to discuss the issue.
The official word this morning from the Obama Administration is that assistance to Egypt is still under review - but has not been entirely stopped. "If it's determined that we can legally provide it, we will. If it's determined that we can't, we won't," said State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf.
The White House is rejecting reports it has already quietly frozen assistance to Egypt. "Our aid and assistance relationship with Egypt is under a review, but it has not been cut off," said White House Deputy Press Secretary, Josh Earnest.
Still, $585 million has not yet been obligated. The Administration has until September 30th to determine how to use that money.
Some though fear pulling the plug on aid would be far too detrimental to the U.S. "Think about the Suez Canal. Think about the enormous counterterrorism support Egypt has provided us. Think about the support that Egypt has provided us over Iran," said Former Ambassador to Morocco, Marc Ginsberg.
More than 1000 people have now been killed in the uprising, after the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi.
If the U.S. makes cuts - Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries have promised to replace the aid - so far pledging about $12 billion in assistance.