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U.S.-Egypt relations in 'turmoil' after aid suspended

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 9:21 p.m.

CAIRO — Egypt's foreign minister said on Wednesday that relations between his country and the United States are in “turmoil” because of Washington's decision to suspend delivery of tanks, helicopters and fighter jets to Egypt.

The suspension, announced last week, was made in response to the unrest as a result of the July 3 military coup that ousted Mohamed Morsy, Egypt's first freely elected president, and that led to the deaths of hundreds in police crackdowns.

In an interview with state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper, Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said that there is “unrest in relations” between the two countries, warning that the strain could affect the whole Middle East region. The interview was published on Wednesday.

However, Fahmy said he was “not worried about this turmoil in relations,” because it's also a chance for the two to “better evaluate their relationship in the future.”

The Obama administration's decision to cut off military aid was meant as a warning that it no longer can be “business as usual” with Cairo, as President Obama put it.

In announcing the decision, the State Department did not say how much of the $1.5 billion in annual military and economic aid to Egypt was affected. It held up the delivery of Apache helicopters, F-16 fighter jets, M1A1 Abrams tank kits and Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

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