U.S. Threatens To Cut Off Aid To Egypt
The United States says it will cut off the yearly $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt if security forces continue to use violence to crush dissenters. However, it’s not just the Egyptian government that gets American largess. We also fund groups we believe can move Egypt to a more democratic model.
The U.S. has been trying to jump-start a gradual democratic movement in Egypt for years, channeling tens of millions of dollars in State Department funds to nongovernmental organizations inside and outside Egypt. Few groups have emerged that appear to have the kind of structure that could benefit from or lead the current protests.
U.S. democracy funding has for years been a source of tension with the Egyptian government. Gamal Mubarak, the president’s son and presumed successor, told the U.S. ambassador in 2009 about warnings he had delivered six years earlier that such support could be counterproductive, according to diplomatic cables acquired by whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks and published by a Norwegian newspaper.
But the United States has had great interest in keeping the Egyptian government stable, as Egypt has been an important ally.
Egypt has been a pillar of U.S. security policy in the Middle East since the Carter administration, especially for Arab-Israeli peace talks. Egypt has also been a staunch critic, as have many Arab countries, of Iran’s goal of acquiring nuclear weapons. A friendly Egypt is important for U.S. access to the Suez Canal, which links the operating areas of two U.S. Navy fleets.Click here for reuse options!
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