News

Clinton Clears $1.3 Billion in Aid to Egypt

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (file photo)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (file photo)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has signed off on the release of $1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt, despite concerns that the country's new leaders are not making sufficient democratic reforms. 

Secretary Clinton cleared delivery of the assistance by certifying to U.S. lawmakers that Egypt is meeting its obligations under its peace treaty with Israel and has made “significant progress” toward democracy in the last 15 months.  That includes free and fair parliamentary elections and the transfer of legislative authority to that new assembly.

In December, Congress passed a law requiring that Egypt's military rulers support the transition to a civilian government, hold free and fair elections and protect freedom of religion and association before the release of U.S. military aid.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Secretary Clinton waived legislative conditions relating to the democratic transition on the basis of U.S. national security interests and the goal of maintaining the strategic partnership with Egypt.

"What we are looking to do here is to continue to work with Egyptian partners on the kind of future that they want for Egypt and that is in our mutual interest,” she said.

Some U.S. lawmakers and human rights groups are expressing disappointment with the decision. They say Egypt's transitional military leaders have not demonstrated they are committed to making full democratic reforms.

The Washington-based civil society group Freedom House says the move undermines U.S. support for Egyptian democracy. It says Egypt's military rulers have “repeatedly failed to uphold the fundamental rights of Egyptian citizens.”

Freedom House was one of three U.S. pro-democracy groups shut down in Cairo in December during an Egyptian investigation into illegal foreign funding.

Nuland says a new Egypt is emerging but there is clearly still much work to do.

"There is more to do on the electoral side," said the spokeswoman. "There is more to do on the human rights side.  There is more to do on the civil society side.  And we make absolutely clear here that we remain deeply concerned regarding the trials of civil society activists - Egyptian and international - and we have raised these concerns and we are going to continue to do so.”

If the situation in Egypt deteriorates, Nuland says Secretary Clinton can always re-evaluate her decision to grant the aid waiver.

 

Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
Middle East Voices
. Follow our Middle East reports on
Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Interesting Times
March 24, 2012 2:55 PM
Thank you for updating this peice to at least name the elites who are deciding to ignore LAWS passed by Congress and the will of the American people by giving 1.3 billion of OUR money to a country that HATES us. And why not name them? They have nothing to fear. Nothing will be done. Congress will roll over and open 'the purse' and the sheeple will continue to sleep while our democracy is taken away.

by: NVO
March 24, 2012 9:59 AM
Clinton is a New World Order Drone, pushing for a One World Government under the New World Order. Her affiliation with the Bilderbergs, the Rockefellers, The Club Of Rome, The Trilateral Commission, The EU, totally negates her stance on Israel. She is anti-Israel, plain and simple.

by: Informer
March 23, 2012 11:17 AM
Why is the US funding the successive repressive regimes in Egypt while the latter has oil and have been against US interests for long?

by: InterestingTimes
March 23, 2012 10:15 AM
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will announce Friday that Washington has decided" OMG America! "Washington"! Really! I want a name at the very least when "Washington" decides to ignore a LAW. When did VOA become infiltrated by the left? This is sophomoric fluff.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs