July 10, 2013 (TSR) – Israeli regime has urged Washington not to freeze its annual $1.3 billion in aid to Cairo following the ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi by the military.
Under US law, all military and economic aid must be suspended to any country where the government is overthrown by the military, although Washington has not yet determined whether it considers the June 30 removal of Morsi was actually a coup or not.
According to a senior US official quoted by Israeli Haaretz newspaper, Israel’s top political echelon had engaged in “marathon phone calls” with Washington over the weekend, warning that any suspension of aid could impact on Israel’s security and even undermine its 1979 peace treaty with Egypt.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoned US Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon spoke with Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel and Israel’s National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror consulted with his US counterpart, Susan Rice, the US official said.
“The Israelis warned that cutting military aid to Egypt would likely impact negatively on Israel’s security, especially given the possibility of further security deterioration in Sinai. They also warned that halting the aid could undermine Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt,” the paper said.
US aid to Egypt, which began as a direct result of the treaty, has continued uninterrupted since 1979, and Israel fears any chance in US policy could undermine the Egyptian army’s commitment to the treaty.