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
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs