FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, file photo, Egyptian army soldiers take their positions on top and next to their armored vehicles to guard an entrance of Tahrir Square, in Cairo. U.S. officials said Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, that the Obama administration is poised to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance to Egypt. The U.S. has been considering such a move since the Egyptian military ousted the countryճ first democratically elected leader in June. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 24, 2013, file photo, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, second left, stands with an Egyptian army official before laying a wreath at the tomb of late President Anwar al-Sadat in Cairo. U.S. officials said Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, that the Obama administration is poised to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance to Egypt. The U.S. has been considering such a move since the Egyptian military ousted the countryճ first democratically elected leader in June. (AP Photo/Jim Watson, Pool, File)
WASHINGTON — The United States is cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid it provides to Egypt in response to the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the crackdown by the military-backed government on his supporters.
The U.S. provides $1.5 billion in aid each year to Egypt. While the State Department did not provide a dollar amount of what was being withheld, most of it was expected to be military aid. A U.S. official said the aid being withheld included 10 Apache helicopters at a cost of about $500 million.
The official provided the information only on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to comment by name.
The U.S. decision to slash aid to Egypt will create new friction in Washington’s already uneasy relations with the government that ousted the first democratically elected Egyptian president. And the consequences won’t end there.
The move will anger Persian Gulf states, push Egypt to seek assistance from U.S. rivals and upend decades of close ties with the Egyptians that have been a bulwark of stability in the Middle East.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Wednesday the U.S. will withhold delivery of certain large-scale military systems as well as cash assistance to the Egyptian government until “credible progress” is made toward an inclusive government set up through free and fair elections.