WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is releasing military aid to Egypt that was suspended after the 2013 coup in that country.
The White House says Obama is lifting the hold on sending F-16 fighter jets, tanks and other material to Egypt. The U.S. has been weighing whether to lift the hold to help combat the extremist threat spilling over from Libya and in the Sinai Peninsula.
But the White House says it is not issuing a certification that Egypt has made progress toward democracy. Instead, the U.S. is maintaining that the aid is in the interest of U.S. national security.
The U.S. had to do one or the other to unblock the aid. The funds were suspended 21 months ago when the military overthrew Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.