WASHINGTON – The Obama administration said Wednesday that it was delaying a sale of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt, the first sign the U.S. is rethinking its decision not to withhold military aid after the July 3 coup that ousted the Egyptians’ first democratically elected president.
The decision was made by President Barack Obama and his top national security advisers after they concluded that allowing the sale to go forward would signal that Washington was maintaining a business-as-usual relationship with Cairo despite the removal of President Mohammed Morsi and growing unrest in Egyptian cities.
“Given the current situation in Egypt, we do not believe it is appropriate to move forward at this time with the delivery of F-16s,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said.
But he cautioned that the administration had made no decision on whether to suspend the $1.3 billion in annual military aid Egypt receives from the U.S. and was proceeding with a joint military exercise scheduled for this year, signs that the administration is nervous about losing even its limited influence over the country’s military leaders.
Chinese politician Bo indicted in scandal
Beijing – Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai was indicted today on charges of corruption, accepting bribes and abuse of power, state media reported, moving China’s biggest political scandal in years toward closure.
The indictment paves the way for a trial, more than a year after Bo dropped from sight in one of China’s biggest political scandals.
The Xinhua News Agency said the indictment was handed over by prosecutors in the eastern city of Jinan to the city’s intermediate court. That indicates the trial will take place in the city soon, although the report did not say when.
Bo, the former party boss of the southwestern megacity of Chongqing, was expelled from the party in September and accused of massive corruption, illicit sexual affairs and abetting the cover-up of a murder by his wife.