WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- The White House said Tuesday the Obama administration has not halt or cut off assistance to Egypt and that President Barack Obama and his national security team would discuss whether to continue or curtail the 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in annual aid.
Published reports suggesting the U.S. assistance to Egypt had been cut off were "not accurate," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a daily briefing.
Obama had directed his national security team to review the aid and assistance relationship with Egypt, but the review has not concluded yet, Earnest said.
The latest actions by the Egyptian government did not reflect "their commitment to an inclusive political process, to respect for basic human rights...continued violations of basic human rights don't make the transfer of that aid more likely," Earnest told reporters.
A decision would be announced after the review, if necessary, he said.
Obama will convene a meeting of his national security team on the issue Tuesday afternoon, but cautioned against anticipation of any major announcements to make in the immediate aftermath of the meeting.
Earlier in the day, the National Security Council also insisted that the Obama administration has made no final decision on halting assistance to Egypt.
"As the president has said, we are reviewing all of our assistance to Egypt. No policy decisions have been made at this point regarding the remaining assistance," its spokesperson said in the statement.
U.S. media reported late Monday that the administration had quietly ended some aid to Egypt.
A spokesman for Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate's Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations, told CNN on Monday that his office had been told that the aid to Egypt had been halted.
"As we noted yesterday, the State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee were told that the transfer of military aid was stopped, that this is current practice, not necessarily official policy, and there is no indication of how long it will last," an aide to Leahy reiterated in a statement Tuesday.
A Pew poll released Monday show, 51 percent of Americans say it is better for the U.S. to cut off military aid to Egypt, while 26 percent of Americans prefer to continue the aid in order to maintain influence in the African country.
The United States each year provided some 1.5 billion dollars in aid to Egypt, a long-term ally when Hosni Mubarak ruled the country. The aid included 1.23 billion dollars in U.S. military assistance and 241 million dollars in economic aid to Egypt.
Between 1948 and 2011, the U.S. had provided Egypt with a total of 71.6 billion dollars in bilateral aid.
U.S. warships need the passage of the Suez Canal. Meanwhile, it reportedly also wants to keep the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty intact, promote democracy and economic growth in the country, and maintain Egyptian cooperation on intelligence against terrorist activity in the region.
The U.S. aid to Egypt has slid into dilemma as some U.S. lawmakers, among others, urged Washington to halt it in response to the recent situation in Egypt.
The State Department said it has not yet transferred 585 million dollars in military assistance and is reviewing part of economic aid to see if it should be curtailed but denied any decision to halt the aid.
Halting or cutting the aid to Egypt could cost the U.S. significantly.
The U.S. might lose 3 billion dollars, including penalties on contract cancellations, if it does so since Egypt and Israel are the two countries able to order equipment before U.S. funds to pay for them have been approved by Congress.