11 July 2013, 15:20

US to recognize Egypt’s military coup after delivery of all F-16 fighter jets

Таиланд истребитель Таиланд F-16 F16 Ф16 Ф-16

F16 fighter jets

F16 fighter jets

The US says it will continue giving military aid to Egypt, estimated to be $1.3bn a year and delivering 20 units of F-16 fighter jets, as long as the US does not recognize the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi as a coup.

The US officials say Washington will deliver four F-16 fighter jets in the next few weeks. They are part of an already agreed bigger order of 20 planes - eight of which were sent to Egypt in January.

"There is no current change in the plan to deliver F-16s to the Egyptian military," an anonymous US source told to the Independent newspaper.

US massive military aid to Cairo was promised under the now-ousted Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi. That is why President Barack Obama has been careful not to use the word "coup" in relation to events in Egypt. If the US President acknowledged recent events in Egypt as a military coup it would require by law to halt aid to Egypt's military, which receives $1.5 billion aid annually.

The Pentagon has issued a statement echoing President Barack Obama's comments that he has ordered a review of US assistance to Egypt. Asked whether Obama's review had put the F-16 delivery on hold, a US official said: "The delivery remains scheduled as planned".

The White House spokesman Jay Carney said that it would not be "in the best interests of the United States to make immediate changes to our assistance programmes”. He added that the administration would take its time to consider the implications of removing Mr Morsi, supported by the Muslim Brotherhood, from power, according to the BBC.

F16 jets are built by US manufacturer Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's biggest supplier and a key part of the US military-industrial complex.

Egypt was the first Arab country to buy F16s, and has received massive amounts of military aid from the US since it signed a 1979 peace treaty with Israel, despite a questionable record on human rights.

Voice of Russia, BBC, the Independent

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