March 15, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an ongoing effort to hold President Morsi of Egypt accountable, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) Wednesday sponsored amendment 52 to the Senate Continuing Resolution (CR) to conditionally suspend the sale of F-16s to Egypt. He also cosponsored amendment 28 by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to withhold all U.S. foreign aid to Egypt until President Morsi declares that he intends to abide by the Camp David Peace Accords.
“For months, I have been calling for President Obama and his administration to hold President Morsi accountable for failing to promote promised democracy in Egypt and for the instability in the region,” said Inhofe. “After several attempts to engage the administration to halt our F-16 delivery, I introduced legislation in January to suspend the shipment of these top-of-the-line military aircrafts and other military equipment to Egypt. I have now presented this as an amendment to the Senate’s Continuing Resolution, and am also supporting my colleague Sen. Rand Paul’s similar amendment to conditionally withhold all foreign aid funding to Egypt. We both agree that any support to Egypt must be reconsidered until President Morsi agrees to abide by the Camp David Peace Accords, which has kept the peace between Egypt and Israel for more than 30 years.”
“Under President Morsi and his radical Muslim Brotherhood, the United States’ historically good relationship with Egypt is at a standstill. My efforts and legislation are intended to target Morsi and not the military, our second strongest ally in the region next to Israel who we have trained and worked with to maintain peace in the region. Instead, my effort would provide the necessary leverage and pressure on Morsi to make him rethink his undemocratic path.”
On Dec. 17, 2012, Inhofe in a letter called on then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to delay the planned delivery of 20 F-16 fighter jets to Egypt. On Jan. 8, Inhofe received a hardcopy response from the U.S. State Department stating it was in the best interest of the U.S. to proceed with the delivery of the F-16s. He released a statement calling the response “alarming” and was “disappointed” in Sec. Clinton’s decision.
On Jan. 22, the first four F-16s of the planned 20 jets were delivered to the government of Egypt. On Jan. 25, Inhofe sent a letter to President Obama expressing his disappointment in the State Department’s decision and requested suspension of the remaining 16 aircraft.
With no response from the White House, on Jan. 31, Inhofe introduced S.207, a bill to conditionally suspend certain military sales to Egypt, including the further shipment of F-16s until the president certifies to Congress that the government of Egypt agrees to the following: (1) to continue to uphold its commitments under the Camp David Peace Accords, (2) to provide proper security at United States embassies and consulates, (3) to bring stability to its nation by ending its systematic exclusion and silencing of all official minority political opposition, and (4) to take concrete steps to engage in dialogue with such opposition parties and consider a coalition, power-sharing government with such opposition parties.