The U.S. government, on Tuesday, condemned the military-backed interim government in Egypt for the detention of Mohammed Badie, the 70-year-old spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood terming it "certainly not the standard that the Egyptian people expect of their government."
However, denying reports that the US aid package to Egypt had been cut off, the Administration clarified that it was under review. President Obama was expected to meet his national security team as part of a review of US ties with Egypt.
Badie Charged with Killing and Inciting Violence
Badie, who was initially a prominent figure at the Brotherhood's protest camps in Cairo, has been in hiding since the military-backed government increased its efforts to shut down the protests. He faces charges related to the killing of anti-Morsi demonstrators outside the presidential palace in Dec 2012 and for inciting the storming of a Republican Guard building after Morsi's ouster.
West Reviews Aid
Meanwhile, confusion has prevailed over U.S. policy towards the military-led regime which came to power after the ouster of Egypt's democratically-elected Mohammed Morsi government in July. President Obama has all along avoided terming the military's action as "a coup". Calling it a coup would force him by US law to cut off assistance.
The Administration's clarification on Tuesday on the status of aid comes after media quoted a senior US senator on Monday saying that the White House had quietly cut off most of the $1.3 billion (£830 million) in military aid that America gives to Egypt each year. The next tranche of around $585 million (£373 million) is due to be sent at the end of next month.
European Union foreign ministers will meet on Wednesday to decide whether to cut some of the billions of euros in aid pledged to Egypt.
Regime Remains Defiant
However, maintaining its defiance, Egypt's interim Prime Minister Hazem Al Beblawi was quoted as saying that it would be a "mistake" on the part of the US to halt its substantial military aid to Cairo. Egypt would "live with the circumstances" if Washington decided to cease aid, he said.
Brotherhood Calls for Boycott
Egypt's Islamists on the other hand called for a general boycott of regime-supporting media and businesses and said they would not accept products of countries that backed the military-backed regime - a reference to Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
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