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

    Ethiopia's Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?

    Yonatan Tesfaye was detained in December 2015 on charges under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; eleven statements from his Facebook page were used as evidence

    Egypt Orders Trial for Journalists Charged With Harboring Reporters

    Order targets journalists' union chief Yehia Qalash, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for allegedly spreading false news, harboring fugitive colleagues

    Nigerian Oil Production Falls as Militant Attacks Take Toll

    Country no longer Africa's petroleum king due to renewed militancy in its oil-producing region

    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.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora