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Frost over U.S.-Egyptian diplomatic ties temporary

Oct. 31, 2013 at 10:30 AM   |   Comments

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CAIRO, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Cutting military assistance to Egypt is a temporary measure because of shared security interests in the region, the U.S. State Department said.

Washington opted this month to suspend some military aid to Egypt and to cut $260 million in direct funding for the military in response to violence that erupted in the wake of the July ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

The Egyptian government was accused of using military equipment to suppress its opponents through the use of force.

Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said during her regular press briefing Wednesday the decision on military aid was a temporary one.

"We have continued some of the aid that serves those purposes [bilateral security concerns]," she said. "It's a pause, not a complete end."

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led a hearing Tuesday on U.S. assistance to Egypt. He said there are armed groups operating in the region that are hostile to U.S. interests.

"While we would like a democratic partner for our many security interests in the region, we need a partner," he added. "We should push and pull with what influence we have."

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