US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US is concerned with Minister of Defence General Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi’s call for Egyptians to protest against “violence and terror” on Friday.
During Wednesday’s daily press briefing Psaki was unable to reveal more details regarding the decision to delay the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt.
She also refused to comment on whether the department was concerned that the US had encouraged Al-Sisi by setting a precedent that mass demonstrations provide a mandate for the military.
Psaki said: “we’re very concerned about the calls and we’re also concerned that the clashes would make it very difficult to reconcile and get ahead of the cycles of unrest and instability.”
Psaki added that the state department’s focus is encouraging the interim government “towards electing civilian leadership,” and “taking all of the steps that they’ve laid out.”
Regarding the decision to suspend the F-16s, Psaki referred reporters to statements made earlier on Wednesday by Pentagon spokesman George Little. Psaki said: “this was a specific decision… at this specific time about this specific case. So I would caution you to read further into it.”
Psaki also said that she was not aware of when the decision was taken but confirmed that the decision affects only the delivery of the four F-16 jets.
She added: “this is a decision ultimately made by the President [Barack Obama],” and the decision was “unanimously supported by his national security team.”