News / Europe

    EU Suspends Military Sales to Egypt

    Egyptian army armored personnel carriers are stationed outside the Aguza Military Hospital in Cairo, August 19, 2013.
    Egyptian army armored personnel carriers are stationed outside the Aguza Military Hospital in Cairo, August 19, 2013.
    Al Pessin
    The European Union has suspended military sales to Egypt for items it believes could be used for repression. The United States, meanwhile, is considering a cutoff of its $1.3 billion in annual military aid. Neither the EU nor the U.S., however, is cutting economic or humanitarian aid, and Egypt's military-installed interim government does not seem too concerned.

    Officials in Washington and European capitals have been agonizing over what to do about the military takeover in Egypt and the interim government's crackdown on its opponents. The question is whether to cut aid or whether to maintain the aid in order to keep some leverage on the country's new leaders.

    The Europeans made at least a partial decision Wednesday, suspending some types of military sales but not cutting humanitarian aid. The United States continues to consider what to do about its aid.

    Peace treaty

    Egypt needs the U.S. money to maintain its sophisticated, largely American-made weaponry. But Egypt expert John Chalcraft at the London School of Economics said there is a larger aspect to the U.S. military aid.“It is a strategic rent that comes to Egypt in return, above all, for the ongoing Camp David Peace Treaty with Israel. So the significance of it is political and geopolitical, more than it is economic.”

    No one expects Egypt to return to a state of war with Israel if the U.S. aid is cut off, but Chalcraft said a new uncertainty would be introduced in an already tense and troubled region.

    The economic aid is smaller and sympathetic governments in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have already provided far more to the interim government than the West provides - as much as $12 billion, according to the deputy director of Cairo's Ahram Center for Political & Strategic Studies, Magdy Sobhi. "This aid is crucial from the angle that it will ensure that the government can function without having a daily concern over the provision of necessary resources for importing necessary needs."

    Already, the interim government has provided more basic supplies, like gasoline, than the previous government was able to provide. And Interim Finance Minister Ahmed Galal told reporters he is not worried about any cut in Western aid. ''What is happening is we are maybe, maybe we don't know that, maybe losing some money in some place but we are getting some money or even more money from another place. So in a way at the end of the day, my books are okay.”

    Military might

    Egypt's army ousted the only freely elected president in the country's long history last month, and last week led a brutal crackdown on opponents of the move, leaving more than 1,000 civilians dead.

    So while Western nations agonize over what is at least a temporary retreat from democracy, the army and its government garner significant support among the Egyptian people and key regional leaders. The common theme is dislike for the Muslim Brotherhood - the global conservative Islamic movement that launched the career of deposed President Mohamed Morsi and continues to provide his support base.

    The West is no fan of the Brotherhood, but finds itself having to balance that with its dislike of military takeovers, and its revulsion at the blood on the streets. And now the position is even more awkward, as it finds one of its key levers of power, financial aid, is not as strong a lever as it had thought.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Francis Egu Lansana from: Vahun
    August 22, 2013 5:28 AM
    Why now? To me it too late because the destruction has already taken place.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.