Washington (Mar. 25)
The $63 million in economic aid the White House has decided to provide to El Salvador will be taken temporarily from economic assistance funds already allocated to Egypt and Israel for the current fiscal year, the State Department said today.
Department spokesman William Dyess said the funds for El Salvador will be taken “in equal amounts from each program.” Israel has been allocated $785 million in economic assistance and Egypt $750 million for the same purpose. Dyess emphasized that this is “a temporary shifting of money and not really taking something permanently” from the two countries. He said the U. S. “is fully committed to restoring the re-programmed funds.”
While not unprecedented, the reprogramming of allocated funds is rare and in the case of Israel and Egypt has not occurred in the past. It is believed due to the Reagan Administration’s tight budget practices.
Responding to a question on another matter, Dyess said “We have not made a decision” yet that U. S. troops will participate in the multinational force in the Sinai area from which Israel will withdraw in April, 1982. He said “We’re in the process of consulting informally with certain governments to ascertain whether they will be willing to participate.”