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

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid