News / Middle East

US Lawmakers: Aid to Egypt Should Continue - for Now

A supporter of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in front pictures of Morsi at Nasr City, where protesters have installed their camp and hold their daily rally, in Cairo, Egypt, July 25, 2013.
A supporter of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in front pictures of Morsi at Nasr City, where protesters have installed their camp and hold their daily rally, in Cairo, Egypt, July 25, 2013.
Michael Bowman
Some U.S. lawmakers say there should be no immediate cut-off of American aid to Egypt following the military ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. The future of that assistance was the focus of a Senate hearing one day after the Obama administration announced a delay in the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Egypt.

For decades, Egypt has been a top recipient of U.S. foreign aid, including substantial military assistance. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democrat Robert Menendez, says aid should continue to flow, at least for now.

“Abandoning Egypt would be a particularly poor policy choice,” he said.

Similarly, the committee’s top Republican, Senator Bob Corker, argued in favor of soothing tensions between Washington and Cairo.

“I do think that our nation’s role in Egypt right now should be an instrument of calmness. I think sometimes we forget that we have critical national security interests in Egypt," he said. "It is the most populous country in the Middle East, a strategic ally, the recipient of more than $1 billion in U.S. taxpayer money [annually], provides U.S. military vessels preferred access to the Suez Canal, and our two countries cooperate on counterterrorism."

Wednesday, the Pentagon announced a delay in the delivery of four F-16 jets to Egypt. A spokesman said the U.S.-Egyptian military relationship endures, but that the administration desires a return to democratic governance in Egypt as soon as possible.

The Obama administration has not labeled Morsi’s ouster an actual military coup which, under U.S. law, would trigger a cut-off of assistance to Egypt. Such an outcome would be viewed negatively by many Egyptians, according to former U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross, who testified at the Senate hearing.

“I am afraid that if we were to cut off our assistance at this point, the effect would be to lose the link we have with the military. But we would also find a backlash among the Egyptian public," he said. "The Egyptian public would look at this as an American effort to dictate to them against the popular will.”

Another witness said inaction, however, causes the United States to be seen as indifferent or even condoning the removal of a duly-elected leader.

“The United States is understandably wary of damaging its longstanding relationship with the Egyptian government. But it should also avoid pursuing a policy that appears to be cynical and unprincipled,” said former State Department Middle East affairs specialist Michele Dunne.

Menendez emphasized that U.S. goals must remain clear.

“At the end of the day, Egyptian leaders and the Egyptian military must show that they are committed to an inclusive political process, credible democratic elections, and democratic governance that protects the rights of religious minorities and women,” he said.

Menendez warned that U.S. support “is not unconditional and unending.”

  • Morsi supporters say they moved onto the streets in reaction to the massive rallies against the former president in June. (Heather Murdock for VOA)
  • Men spray the hot crowds with cold water from plastic water packs and bottles. Currently fasting for the holy month of Ramadan, no one in this crowd takes a drink. (Heather Murdock for VOA)
  • Fifteen-year-old Abdulrahman Usama has been staying in this tent for nearly a month and says he won't go back to school until the former president is reinstated. (Heather Murdock for VOA)
  • Some people are operating businesses like prickly-pears for sale in crates, but pro-Morsi protesters say most of the people living in this tent village spend the hot days resting, reading Quran, and preparing for rallies. (Heather Murdock for VOA)
  • Emad Zaghlul Mustafa fills bottles with colored sand depicting landscapes. He says he moved into the tent village to protest the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, but creates art to keep himself busy between rallies. (Heather Murdock for VOA)

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: GrinOlsson from: Alaska, USA
July 25, 2013 10:13 PM
As an American, I find it scandalous to give one single cent of American tax money to Muslim nations. It's an outrage. Their ideology mixes religion with politics and the United States government is banned from intruding into religious affiliations inside of our boundaries as well as outside of our boundaries. We should disengage from the Middle East, refuse to provide military and financial aid, as well as ban Islamists from receiving visas, residency, or citizenship in the United States. Their fanaticism never ends - and only results in violence. By the way, America only had 100,000 Muslims in 1970 and now we have over 9 million. Who let them in the United States?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More