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March 17, 2017 10:04 am

State Department: Trump Budget Cuts Won’t Reduce US Aid to Israel

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President Trump during his first Cabinet meeting. Photo: Twitter. – US foreign aid to Israel will not be reduced under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts, the State Department said Thursday.

“Our assistance to Israel is…guaranteed and that reflects obviously our strong commitment to one of our strongest partners and allies,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, Reuters reported.

Trump is proposing a 28-percent cut for American diplomacy and foreign aid for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. Currently, annual US aid to Israel stands at $3.1 billion. Last September, the Obama administration and the Israeli government signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase aid for Israel to $3.8 billion annually for the fiscal years from 2019-2028.

The Trump administration’s budget cuts, however, might still affect the status of U.S. aid to Jordan and Egypt, the two Arab neighbors that have official peace treaties with Israel.

“With respect to other assistance levels, foreign military assistance levels, those are still being evaluated and decisions are going to be made going forward,” Toner said, noting that treaty obligations — such as the Jordanian and Egyptian pacts with Israel — would factor into the administration’s decision.

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