Israel has been pressuring the United States not to stop the military aid that it provides to Egypt, fearing the fate of the peace between the countries, the New York Times reported Saturday, citing diplomatic sources.
According to the report, Israel and Egyptian Defense Minister General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi have been in close contact throughout the latest crisis in Egypt. The diplomats told the New York Times that Israel assured Egypt it did not have to worry about the U.S. threat to cut its enormous aid package to that country.
Israel fears that without the American aid to Egypt, the country will no longer have an interest to maintain the peace agreement.
In response to the violence in Egypt this past week, U.S. President Barack Obama said that the United States “deplores” and “strongly condemns” violence in Egypt, and as a result is canceling U.S.-Egyptian military exercises scheduled for next month.
He said the United States believes the Egyptian government’s “state of emergency should be lifted” and a process of reconciliation must begin.
At the same time, Obama did not suspend other forms of aid to Egypt and said that U.S. “engagement” with the military government in Cairo will help Egypt make the transition back to democracy.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Thursday his country will retain its military ties with Egypt but more violence by the army could jeopardize the relationship.
The White House has thus far been cautious about calling the Egyptian military’s ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi a “coup.”
Under U.S. law, a country in which a military coup has taken place cannot receive military aid from the U.S.
Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have called on the Obama administration to cut off the aid the U.S. provides to Egypt, saying that “Not all coups are created equal, but a coup is still a coup.”