(Sharona Schwartz) Hours after Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was ousted from power last week, President Barack Obama said he had directed U.S. government agencies “to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the Government of Egypt.”
Now, only eight days later, Reuters reports that the Obama administration “still plans to go through with the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt in the coming weeks.”
Quoting an unnamed American defense official, Reuters reports that the four Lockheed Martin-built jets will likely be delivered next month and that another eight F-16s are due to be delivered in December. It writes [emphasis added]:
“There is no current change in the plan to deliver F-16s to the Egyptian military,” a second U.S. official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Asked about the F-16s, White House spokesman Jay Carney said: “It’s our view that we should not … hastily change our aid programs.” He directed specific questions about the jets to the Defense Department.
The Pentagon, responding to queries by reporters, later issued a statement echoing President Barack Obama’s July 3 comments that he had ordered a review of U.S. assistance to Egypt. Asked whether Obama’s review had put the F-16 delivery on hold, one of the U.S. officials told Reuters: “The delivery remains scheduled as planned.”
The F-16s are part of the annual $1.5 billion U.S. aid package to Egypt, the vast majority of which comes in the form of military aid.