WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Friday formally released $1.3 billion in military aid for Egypt despite Cairo's failure to meet pro-democracy goals, saying US national security required continued military assistance.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waived congressional conditions imposed late last year that tied US aid to progress in Egypt's transition to democracy following the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

"These decisions reflect America's over-arching goal: to maintain our strategic partnership with an Egypt made stronger and more stable by a successful transition to democracy," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

Clinton's decision, which has been criticized by some US lawmakers, took note of Egypt's progress since last year's street revolution, including holding parliamentary elections and preparing for a presidential election in May.

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