(Jerusalem Post) Automatic spending cuts set to take effect in the US next month could “lead to reductions in military assistance to Israel, Jordan and Egypt, undermining our commitment to their security at such a volatile time,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said in comments publicized on Thursday.

Across-the-board cuts, known as “sequestration,” set to begin on March 1, would take $2.6 billion out of the budget for the US State Department and USAID, America’s development assistance agency, Kerry said.

“Cuts of this magnitude would seriously impair our ability to execute our vital missions of national security, diplomacy and development,” he wrote in a letter to Senator Barbara Mikulski, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

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