President Barack Obama plans to accelerate the pace of American aid to Egypt, a top State Department official said on Wednesday, as the most populous Arab nation reaches a critical stage in its uncertain transition away from autocratic rule (to Radical Islamic dictatorship)
MSNBC Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats, part of a U.S. delegation that held unprecedented talks last week with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, said Washington wanted to provide “more immediate benefits” to Egyptians, who earlier this month conducted their first democratic elections in decades. (Which resulted in 80% of the seats in Parliament going to the two most radical Islamic parties)
“During this period, we want to be as supportive as we can. This is an historic moment. Egypt’s a country of enormous importance,” Hormats said.
Under the plan, some non-urgent U.S. aid slated for other countries – he did not name them – would be redirected to Egypt. And funding in the pipeline for long-term programs in Egypt would be shifted to quick-impact projects, he said. It was unclear whether the total amount of U.S. aid to Egypt would be increased. “Whether it’s an increase or whether it’s reprioritizing existing assistance, we’re still working this out,” Hormats said.
Still, he made clear the United States wants to be seen as doing more to assist a hoped-for democratic evolution in Egypt, where the military still holds ultimate power on the first anniversary of protests that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
Congress approved $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt for the current fiscal year, but with conditions attached. It also approved $250 million in economic aid, as well as an “enterprise fund” of up to $60 million.
I guess the above is in reaction to these statements made by the Muslim Brotherhood to Assistant US Secretary of State recently:
Egypt Independent Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau member Abdel Rahman al-Barr on Tuesday met with Assistant US Secretary of State for Democracy and Human Rights Michael Posner and US Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson at the embassy’s headquarters in Cairo.
“US President Obama’s promises, made during his visit to Egypt, have not been fulfilled, and Egyptians want to see more concrete steps in this regard,” the statement added.
“The Egyptian people consider America’s claims that it respects democracy and freedom as mere words,” Barr said during the meeting, according to a statement on the group’s website.
Brotherhood statement said: “The discriminatory policies adopted by the US administration toward Muslims make them doubt the seriousness of US intentions with regard to democracy promotion. We had a revolution for change, and US policy should change, too.”