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US State Department remains vague on aid to Egypt - Daily News Egypt

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US State Department remains vague on aid to Egypt

Thursday briefing stresses judicial transparency and press safety

US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki (AFP File Photo)
US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki
(AFP File Photo)

The United States State Department has still not announced an official plan regarding future governmental and military financial aid to Egypt, which remains under review.

In a Thursday press briefing in Washington, D.C., US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki referred reporters’ questions about aid to the US Department of Defence, but confirmed that Egypt has, in fact, received military aid since deposed president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster on 3 July.

A governmental review of the $1.23bn military aid from the US to Egypt is underway after Egypt’s “rocky path” to democracy since 3 July.  While US has not decided whether the recent events in Egypt constitute a coup, Section 7008 of the 2013 US Foreign Appropriations Bill restricts giving aid to a government formed by a military coup.

Psaki said that in order to “further democracy,” the Egyptian government should end violence on the ground, reform the constitution and hold elections to form a civilian-run government.

In light of former president Hosni Mubarak’s Thursday release from prison, Psaki reiterated the US position that there needs to be a process for Morsi’s release.

“We believe there should be a process for his release,” said Psaki.  “We’ve spoken frequently about our concerns about arbitrary arrests. And… we believe all parties need to have the opportunity to participate. It’s hard to do that when there are several members of one being detained.”

Psaki also stressed the need for freedom and safety for foreign journalists working in Egypt.

“The Egyptian Government has…repeatedly invited journalists to see for themselves what is happening in Egypt, and this clearly cannot be done if the government is not ensuring basic safety measures for journalists and is hindering their ability to enter the country by delaying the issuance of press credentials,” said Psaki.

“We call on the government to clearly instruct its security forces that journalists must not be targets of any violence or intimidation and must be protected and allowed to freely move about to do their jobs.”

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