Egypt on Thursday criticised the U.S. decision to halt some aid to the army-backed government following a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. Washington said on Wednesday it would withhold deliveries of tanks,fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles as well as $260 million in cash aid but left some other aid programmes intact.
"The decision was wrong. Egypt will not surrender to American pressure and is continuing its path towards democracy as set by the roadmap," Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told a private Egyptian radio station Radio FM. "(Egypt) will take decisions relating to internal affairs with complete independence, without external influences and will work on guaranteeing to secure its vital needs in a continued and orderly manner, especially with regards to national security," he added. But he also said that Egypt "was keen on continuing good relations with the United States".
The decision was made pending progress on democracy and human rights but the State Department said it would continue military support for counter terrorism, counter-proliferation and security in the Sinai Peninsula.It will also continue to provide funding in areas such as education, health and private sector development.
U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel called Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to tell him about the decision, stressing the relationship's importance but
underscored that Egypt must move towards democracy.