U.S. reviews ties with Egypt

Oct. 30, 2013 at 11:19 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Egypt is an important strategic partner to the United States but Washington has to rethink its financial support for its government, officials said.

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the White House has conducted "meaningless consultations" with U.S. lawmakers on its aid to Egypt in the wake of the revolution in 2011 and the July 3 military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

"That will have to change," he said during a hearing Tuesday.

Washington in October said it was suspending some military assistance to Egypt and cutting off $260 million in financial aid to the Egyptian military in response to violence that erupted in the wake of Morsi's ouster.

Royce said he supported a "robust military relationship" with Egypt because of shared strategic interests in the region.

Elizabeth Jones, acting assistant secretary for the Bureau of Near East Affairs at the State Department, said, however, a measured financial approach was needed given lingering instability in Egypt.

"We will work with the interim government and Congress to provide economic support that directly benefits the Egyptian people ... but we are not moving forward with any further cash transfers to the government," she testified.

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