News / Middle East

Egypt Criticizes US Decision to Halt Aid

FILE - Egyptian army soldiers take their positions on top and next to their armored vehicles to guard an entrance of Tahrir Square, in Cairo. Obama administration is poised to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance to Eg
FILE - Egyptian army soldiers take their positions on top and next to their armored vehicles to guard an entrance of Tahrir Square, in Cairo. Obama administration is poised to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance to Eg
Reuters
Egypt on Thursday criticized the U.S. decision to halt some aid to the army-backed government following a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood that has plunged the country into a violent political crisis.
 
Washington faces a dilemma in dealing with a major regional ally that controls the strategic Suez Canal and borders Israel but whose army overthrew the first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi, after mass protests against his rule.
 
It said on Wednesday it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles as well as $260 million in cash aid but left some other aid programs intact.
 
U.S. Foreign Assistance to EgyptU.S. Foreign Assistance to Egypt
x
U.S. Foreign Assistance to Egypt
U.S. Foreign Assistance to Egypt
The U.S. position highlights the dilemma and also exposes differences with key Gulf ally Saudi Arabia, which had welcomed Morsi's removal and has lavished extensive financial support to the new government.
 
It also raises the question of where Egypt, the second largest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel, could now turn for more military aid.
 
“The decision was wrong. Egypt will not surrender to American pressure and is continuing its path towards democracy as set by the roadmap,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told a private Egyptian radio station Radio FM.
 
Abdelatty later said in a statement the decision “posed serious questions around the United States' readiness to provide stable strategic support for Egypt's security programs”.
 
The decision was made pending progress on democracy and human rights but the State Department said it would continue military support for counter terrorism, counter-proliferation and security in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders U.S. ally Israel. It will also continue to provide funding in areas such as education, health and private sector development.
 
The private, anti-Islamist leaning Tahrir newspaper was even bolder in its criticism, with a headline proclaiming, “Let the American aid go to hell”.
 
Crackdown
 
The army ousted Morsi in July, installed an interim government and presented a political “roadmap” it promised would lead to fair elections.
 
The Brotherhood refuses to work with the military, which it says staged a coup and sabotaged Egypt's democratic gains after a revolt toppled autocratic President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
 
Egypt's security forces have cracked down hard on the Brotherhood since Morsi's overthrow, crushing two pro-Morsi protest camps, killing hundreds, and then arresting scores from the group, including much of the senior leadership.
 
Morsi himself has been held in a secret location since his ouster. He is due to face trial on Nov. 4 on charges of inciting violence, in a move that is likely to further inflame tensions between the army and the Brotherhood.
 
The army-backed government also declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew. A court order has banned the Brotherhood, Egypt's oldest and most influential Islamist group, that dominated national elections since Mubarak's overthrow.
 
Widening violence
 
The U.S. decision demonstrated its unhappiness with Egypt's path since Morsi was ousted.
 
In the latest violence, pro-Morsi supporters clashed with security forces and political opponents on Sunday, with state media reporting 57 people dead.
 
Raising the specter of more bloodshed, the political wing of the now-banned Brotherhood, the Freedom and Justice Party, called for a “million-man march” on Friday to head towards Tahrir, cradle of the demonstrations that overthrew Mubarak.
 
Besides the political crisis that has decimated tourism and investment in the most populous Arab state, Egypt is witnessing a wave of Islamist militant attacks against security forces that has occasionally spilled over beyond the Sinai region.
 
On Thursday, one police and three army conscripts were killed in a car bomb attack in the region, which is near Israel and the Gaza Strip, security sources said. Militants also claimed a failed assassination attack on the Egyptian interior minister last month.
 
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to tell him about the decision, stressing the relationship's importance but underscored that Egypt must move towards democracy.
 
The military denies it carried out a coup, saying it responded to the will of the people.
 
Abdelatty, the foreign ministry spokesman, said Egypt was “keen on continuing good relations with the United States”.
 
“[Egypt] will take decisions relating to internal affairs with complete independence, without external influences and will work on guaranteeing to secure its vital needs in a continued and orderly manner, especially with regards to national security,” he added.
 
Egypt has for decades been among the largest recipients of U.S. military and economic aid because of its 1979 peace treaty with Israel, which agreed as a result of the pact to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula it seized from Egypt in 1967.
 
The United States has long provided Egypt with about $1.55 billion in annual aid, including $1.3 billion for the military.

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid