Obama secretly suspends aid to Egypt, acknowledging 'coup'
US President, under fire for indecision, is reported to have stopped aid as US reviews Egypt relations
THE US Government has so far refused to describe the military overthrow of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi as a coup, but according to a report in the Daily Beast, the Obama administration has decided privately to act as though it were.
The Beast reports that most forms of military aid, and some kinds of economic aid, to Cairo have been quietly suspended while the US "conducts a broad review of the relationship" with the country where hundreds have died in the recent crackdown on supporters of the ousted Islamist president.
"The administration won't publicly acknowledge all aspects of the aid suspension and maintains its rhetorical line that no official coup determination has been made," reports the US website. "But behind the scenes, extensive measures to treat the military takeover of Egypt last month as a coup are being implemented on a temporary basis."
The Beast’s source is a spokesman from the office of Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy – head of the subcommittee that oversees international military aid programmes – who said that "aid to the Egyptian military has been halted, as required by law".
That legal interpretation appears to be based on the notion that a coup has taken place in Egypt - although Obama has so far shied away from using the word in public and has been taken to task for not doing so. The Week columnist Robert Fox has accused Obama of showing "stunning" indecision over Egypt, writing: "When it comes to so many issues in world politics, the Middle East especially, Barack Obama appears gripped by a pathological state of indecisiveness.”
Meanwhile, the Egyptian authorities have continued their crackdown on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood supporters by arresting Mohamed Badie, the spiritual leader of the Islamist group.
Badie, 70, who already faces charges of incitement to murder, was detained at an apartment in Nasr City in the northeast of the city, following a tip-off to security forces, reports The Times. ·