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White House will maintain military aid to Egypt

The White House said Monday it wants to maintain Egypt's $1.5 billion aid package, most of which goes to a military that overthrew President Mohamed Morsi last week.

The White House wants to maintain a $1.5 billion aid package to Egypt despite the ousting of democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi last week, Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

That means the White House has decided - at least for now - that the military-led takeover is not a coup, a label that would by law end US aid to Egypt, the second highest recipient of US funds after Israel.

"There are significant consequences that go along with this determination and it is a highly charged issue for millions of Egyptians who have differing views about what happened," Carney said at a briefing.

"We are going to take the time necessary to review what has taken place and to monitor efforts by Egyptian authorities to forge an inclusive and democratic way forward," he added.

The Obama administration has not declared support for Morsi, the military or Egypt's political opposition, opting instead to condemn the recent violence, saying in a statement last week that the increasingly perilous situation can "only be determined by the Egyptian people."

Also Monday, Arizona Sen. John McCain reiterated his position that while the US must preserve its security interests by working with Egypt's generals, it cannot legally maintain aid, most of which goes the military.

“Current US law is very clear about the implications for our foreign assistance in the aftermath of a military coup against an elected government,” McCain said in a statement on his website. “I do not want to suspend our critical assistance to Egypt, but I believe that is the right thing to do at this time.”

Instead, McCain urged Congress and the White House to "explore creative and lawful means to cooperate with the Egyptian military on a limited basis." It is unclear what kind of aid would be included in those efforts. 

While US representatives believe it's important to keep working ties with Egypt's military via economic and military aid, most Egyptians think the opposite of foreign assistance. In fact, most think US aid has had a negative impact on the country, according to a Pew Research Center survey taken in May. 

Check out the results, which also correlate with Egyptians' increasingly unfavorable view of the US. 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/130708/egypts-coup-and-the-us-aid-question