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Kerry Leaves Door Open to Resume Aid to Egypt

JACQUELYN MARTIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Egypt can start receiving some of the aid halted by the U.S. if it makes a good-faith effort to embrace democracy.

That message was delivered Thursday by Secretary of State John Kerry following the White House decision to suspend about $500 million in military hardware to Egypt as well as suspending $260 million in financial aid to Cairo's government.

Kerry, who is touring Southeast Asia, made it clear that the partial suspension of the $1.5 billion annual package to Egypt is not "a withdrawal from our relationship or a severing of our serious commitment to helping the government."

He indicated that the U.S. would closely monitor the interim government's stated commitment to holding free and fair elections and that resumption of aid "would be on the basis of performance."

The decision resulted from the Obama administration's unhappiness with the military-backed government handling of human right since President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power three months ago.

Meanwhile, Egypt has responded angrily to the cutoff in aid. Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty remarked, "Egypt will not surrender to American pressure and is continuing its path towards democracy as set by the road map."

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