Egypt angered by U.S. aid cut over human rights concerns
Egypt reacted angrily Wednesday that the decision of the Directors of Trump to reduce or delay nearly 300 million dollars in military and economic aid to the concerns of human rights, a surprise move, given the ties that have bound the two allies since Which President Donald Trump took over in January.
Hours after the announcement of the US envoy to the Middle East Trump, son Jared Kushner, arrived in Egypt as part of a tour of the Middle East to try to revive Israeli Arab peace talks. He met with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and then met with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry before leaving for Israel.
In a statement, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Cairo regretted the decision of the United States, calling it “bad judgment about the nature of the strategic relations that have united the two countries for decades.”
The measure, he said, “reflects a lack of deep knowledge of the importance of supporting Egypt’s stability and success, and the size and nature of the security and economic problems facing the Egyptian people.”
He warned that the cuts could have “negative consequences for the realization of the common interests of the United States and Egypt.” He did not specify.
However, an Egyptian presidential statement on the Kushner meeting with El-Sissi did not mention cuts and delays in aid totaling $ 290.7 million. El-Sissi, a vice president who has repeatedly stated his admiration for Trump, showed frustration expressed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when he smiles posing for a ceremonial photograph with Kushner at the opulent palace in Cairo.
El-Sissi spoke to Kushner and his delegation of “Egypt’s agitation to continue working on strengthening the multifaceted relations that unite the two countries in various fields,” the statement said.
Kushner visits Israel for latest peace deal
Of the $ 290.7 million, $ 195 million were military aid that the State Department stated that Tillerson failed to certify that Egypt had met the human rights criteria set by Congress to receive him.
But because Tillerson signed a waiver of so-called national interests, these funds will remain available to Egypt, as it will improve human rights. If Tillerson did not sign the waiver, the money was returned to the Treasury on September 30 until the end of the current fiscal year.
The rest – $ 95.7 million in economic and military aid – was cut off from the Egyptian account. Most of them were detained in security since 2014, following the new aid conditions that Congress established after the expulsion of El-Sissi in 2013 Mohammed Morsi, the first freely elected president elected in Egypt.
Therefore, 65.7 million were financed by foreign military and 30 million, called “economic support fund,” essentially a cash payment to the government. These funds now go to “major security partners, without compromising Egyptian security,” according to the State Department.