Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
U.S. weighs pros, cons of cutting aid to Egypt
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • The Obama administration, undertaking a major review of U.S. relations with Egypt, edged closer to a decision Tuesday about curtailing some of America's $1.5 billion in annual aid after the Egyptian military's crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

Top administration officials met at the White House to review the possibility of cutting military or economic aid to Egypt, a longtime U.S. ally and the most populous nation in the Arab world. Some cuts are forthcoming, according to U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Tensions in Egypt have soared since the army ousted Morsi, who was the nation's first freely elected president. The July 3 coup followed days of protests by millions of Egyptians demanding that Morsi, who hails from the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, step down.

The U.S. is in a bind. While it wants to continue aiding Egypt to maintain ties with the military-run government and assert its influence in the region, the Obama administration and lawmakers do not want to appear to be condoning the bloody crackdown.

The administration now is deciding what it wants U.S. engagement in Egypt to look like and what, if any, aid, should be cut. Congress, meanwhile, appears split on whether to suspend the aid, with some saying that would deprive Washington of leverage over those in power in Cairo.

So far, Obama has opted against any swift reaction, insisting it would not serve U.S. national interests to suddenly eliminate funding for operations that cover everything from fighting al-Qaida in the heart of the Middle East and safeguarding the stability of the Suez Canal to halting weapons flow to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and ensuring Israel's security.

The bulk of the U.S. aid money — $1.23 billion — is in the form of military aid.

However, the threat to withhold aid — by either the U.S. or the EU — is weakened by the readiness of wealthy Arab states to prop up Egypt's new military-backed leadership. So far, they have promised $12 billion in new aid.

Politics • Leaders don't want to back a crackdown but see need to maintain ties.
Article Tools

 Print Friendly
 
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.