White House says U.S. has not cut off aid to Egypt

WASHINGTON Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:58pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Media reports that suggest the United States has cut off aid to Egypt are not accurate, a White House spokesman said on Tuesday, adding that the Obama administration is still reviewing its options.

"That review has not concluded and ... published reports to the contrary that assistance to Egypt has been cut off are not accurate," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing.

Earnest also said that Egypt's detention of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie was not in line with the standard that the United States would hope to uphold in protecting basic human rights.

Earlier on Tuesday, Egypt's army-backed authorities detained the 70-year-old Badie, the Brotherhood's general guide, in the wake of the bloody suppression of rallies demanding the reinstatement of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, who was toppled by the military last month.

Earnest's comments on U.S. assistance follow media reports, citing a U.S. senator, that the United States had quietly decided to temporarily suspend most military aid to Egypt following the military takeover.

While under review, the aid has not halted, he said.

"Assistance is provided episodically. Assistance is provided in tranches," Earnest added.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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