Daily News Egypt: US State Department ‘clarifies’ military aid to Egypt – Spokesperson denies link between NGO trial and aid renewal:

The United States State Department has defended its decision to renew $1.3bn in military aid to Egypt saying that it serves to protect US and regional security despite the increasing concern over Egypt’s democratic transition.

 

… spokesperson for the State Department Jen Psaki said: “We have provided aid to Egypt on the basis of US national security interests.” She added that this aid has been “carefully considered” and that it “helps preserve important regional, such as maintaining access to the Suez Canal and the interdiction of weapons smuggling”…

 

… The spokesperson also denied that the decision to renew the military aid funding was related to last week’s NGO trial verdict, in which 43 NGO workers (including 17 US citizens) were found guilty of being involved illegal foreign funding. Psaki said: “Actions like the ruling on the NGO law do make it difficult to make the case to members of Congress… on the need to continue to approve this aid”…

 

… The State Department also confirmed that the military aid is not part of $250m pledged to Egypt by Kerry in March. The response added: “We will continue to work closely with Congress to determine how best to assist the Egyptian people and promote Egypt’s democratisation and its economic stabilisation and development, as well as our regional security interests.”