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Report Questions Effectiveness of US Aid to Egypt


A new U.S. government report is questioning the effectiveness of U.S. aid to Egypt, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East.

The report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) acknowledges benefits from the U.S. relationship with Egypt, but says the Bush administration has yet to assess how well Egypt is using military equipment purchased with U.S. aid.

The report says the U.S. has not measured how Egypt is integrating and operating its military equipment or modernizing its military.

The report, issued on Friday, came one day after Egyptian riot police beat and arrested pro-democracy demonstrators in Cairo. The U.S. State Department expressed "deep concern" over how the demonstrations were crushed.

The GAO report does not question the U.S.- Egyptian relationship, which it says has benefits such as use of the Suez Canal and Egyptian support in training Iraq's security forces.

Egypt, along with Israel, is one of the largest recipients of U.S. aid.

Aid to Egypt began as a result of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. U.S. military aid to Egypt has totaled $34 billion over the last 20 years.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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