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US delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt delayed

WASHINGTON, July 23 (KUNA) -- Shipment of four F-16 fighter jets destined for Egypt on Tuesday as part of a US military aid deal has been delayed while the Obama administration considers to evaluate the situation on the ground.
The controversial shipments were supposed to fly to Egypt out of a US naval base in Fort Worth, Texas, but according to an official speaking to the press on condition of anonymity, it has been delayed due to "political reasons." He did not elaborate.
The Obama administration, while refusing to discuss the delay, said it was continuing to evaluate the situation in Egypt 20 days after the ousting of democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi.
While the Obama administration has not declared the actions to topple the now-missing Morsi as a "coup," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry has spoken with top Egyptian Transitional government officials on US raised concerns over the number of civilian arrests and crackdown on the media in recent weeks, and to push for a democratic transitional process.
If the US were to determine that Morsi was overthrown by a military coup, then under US law foreign funding assistance must be cut, and could only be resumed following the democratic election of a government.
The White House and State Department had earlier indicated the administration would go ahead with plans to deliver the F-16s despite the political unrest, but lawmakers have increased pressure to stall military aid until a new elections are held there. (end) hy.bs KUNA 240112 Jul 13NNNN