Egypt in Turmoil |

U.S. Denies Cutting Off Aid to Egypt, Says Obama Still Reviewing Options

White House also condemns Erdogan's comments accusing Israel of involvement in overthrow of Morsi as 'offensive, unsubstantiated, and wrong.'

Reuters
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The White House denied Tuesday media reports that the United States has cut off aid to Egypt, adding that the Obama administration was still reviewing its options.

"That review has not concluded and ... published reports to the contrary that assistance to Egypt has been cut off are not accurate," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing.

U.S. president Barack Obama is set to meet on Tuesday with his national security team to discuss Egypt.

Earnest's comments on U.S. assistance follow media reports, citing a U.S. senator that the United States had quietly decided to temporarily suspend most military aid to Egypt following the military takeover.

While under review, the aid has not halted, he said. "Assistance is provided episodically. Assistance is provided in tranches," Earnest added.

Earnest also told reporters that the U.S. condemns comments by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accusing Israel of having a hand in the Egyptian military's overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi.

"We strongly condemn the statements that were made by Prime Minister Erdogan today. Suggesting that Israel is somehow responsible for recent events in Egypt is offensive, unsubstantiated, and wrong," Earnest said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Erdogan told provincial leaders of his AK Party: "What do they say in Egypt? Democracy is not the ballot box. What is behind it? Israel. We have in our hands documentation."

Earnest also said that Egypt's detention of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie was not in line with the standard that the United States would hope to uphold in protecting basic human rights.

Earlier on Tuesday, Egypt's army-backed authorities detained the 70-year-old Badie, the Brotherhood's spiritual leader, in the wake of the bloody suppression of rallies demanding the reinstatement of Morsi, who was toppled by the military last month.

Islamic political party Jamaat-e-Islami activists march in support of ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi in Karachi on August 20, 2013. Credit: AFP

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