White House Cabinet-Level Meeting Set on Egypt Aid
The White House will hold a Cabinet-level meeting to discuss cutting some of America's $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed that a National Security Council principles meeting will take place Tuesday. Cabinet members such as Secretary of State John Kerry will participate.
Up to now, the administration has insisted that it has taken no final decision on halting aid to Egypt since the military's July overthrow of Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood-led government and an intensifying crackdown on Islamist opponents.
Both officials said Egypt aid would be the focus of the meeting. One official said a decision was likely on cutting some elements of U.S. economic and military support.
A Senate aide says the Obama administration has halted military aid to Egypt.
David Carle, an aide to Sen. Patrick Leahy, says the Senate Appropriations panel for foreign relations has been informed the "transfer of military aid was stopped."
He says the suspension reflects the administration's "current practice, not necessarily official policy." He says there is no indication how long military assistance will be held up.
The Obama administration says it's reviewing U.S. aid to Egypt in light of the military's July 3 overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi and the ongoing crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
But it says it has made no final decisions.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Washington still hasn't delivered some $585 million for 2013. That's almost half the annual military aid package.
Meanwhile, Turkey's prime minister says Israel was behind the ouster of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, and that Turkey has evidence to prove it.
The evidence that Recep Tayyip Erdogan had to offer, however, was a 2011 meeting in France between the Israeli justice minister and an unnamed Jewish French intellectual whom he quoted as saying the Muslim Brotherhood would not be in power even if it wins elections.
Erdogan has been a strong backer of Morsi as an example of a democratically elected Islamic leader. He is also one of the biggest critics of a coup that ousted Morsi from power.
"Who is behind this? Israel is. We have evidence," Erdogan said.
Turkey and Egypt recalled their ambassadors last week as relations worsened. (AP)