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Egyptian Unrest Stalls U.S. Jet Delivery
July 24, 2013

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The United States has not yet withheld the $1.3 billion annual military aid package to Egypt, but America is delaying the shipment of four F-16 fighter jets. Joint military exercises between the two countries, scheduled for later in the year, might be called into question.

The U.S. had previously agreed to sell 20 planes to Egypt. Eight planes arrived in January. Eight are scheduled for delivery later in the year.

An interim government backed by Egypt's military chief, General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (himself now the interim deputy prime minister), is in charge of the country at the moment, and a panel is at work drafting a new constitution for the country.

Some lawmakers in the U.S. and in other countries have argued that the military's removal of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency was a military coup. U.S. foreign aid restrictions stipulate that the U.S. Government cannot give assistance to governments that win power through violent means. Neither President Barack Obama nor the State Department have termed Morsi's ouster a coup.

The Muslim Brotherhood has certainly used the word "coup," in describing the removal of not only Morsi but also the freely elected upper house of parliament. Members of the Brotherhood have been vocal and active in their protests of the military's actions, and some clashes between Morsi protesters and security forces have turned violent. (More than 150 people have died in a series of clashes in Cairo, Alexandria, and elsewhere.)

In the meantime, Sissi, in a nationally televised address, called on the National Salvation Front and other formerly opposition groups to take to the streets to voice their support for the interim government.

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