Obama: US reviewing ties with Egypt

President Barack Obama said on Thursday that the United States is conducting a Å“full evaluation” of its ties with Egypt and Å“can’t return to business as usual” after the violent crackdown on protesters.

Obama said that US aid to Egypt is unlikely to influence the militaryâ„¢s crackdown of protesters. Hundreds of people have been killed during the military-backed interim governmentâ„¢s recent crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

“My sense with Egypt is that the aid itself may not reverse what the interim government does,” Obama said in a CNN interview airing Friday.

“So what we’re doing right now is doing a full evaluation of the US-Egyptian relationship.”

The White House has not called the July 3 military-led ouster of Morsi a coup as such acknowledgement would have ended the US military aid to Egypt in accordance with US law.

The US gives Egypt $1.3 billion in military aid and about $250 million in economic aid each year, making the North African country the second largest recipient of US foreign aid after Israel.

Analysts say that the US lavishes billions of its tax dollars on Egypt to influence the events in the country and make Cairo abide by the Camp David accords with Israel.

Under pressure from members of his own administration and Congress to cut off military aid, Obama canceled a planned joint military exercise with Egypt, and delayed the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to the country.

Obama insisted Thursday that the assistance package continued to be under review.

Meanwhile, more than half of Americans say it is better for the United States to cut off military aid to Egypt to put pressure on its government, according to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center.

Despite the political turmoil and violence in Egypt, Obama emphasized the importance of US relations with the strategically important country.

“This is a partnership that’s been very important to us, in part because of the peace treaty with Israel and the work that’s been done to deal with the Sinai,” the president said.

AHT/HJ

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Republished from: Press TV