Hillary Clinton to Announce Continued U.S. Aid to Egypt
By John Bresnahan
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will announce this afternoon that the United States will go ahead with continued military aid to Egypt, despite a five-week standoff between the two allies over the detention of American employees of pro-democracy groups, including the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, congressional sources said.
The United States supplies Egypt with $1.3 billion in military aid, plus another $250 million in economic assistance. Congress included language in the foreign aid funding bill approved last year requiring Clinton to certify that Egypt is making the transition to democracy in order for the funding to continue flowing.
But the stalemate over the American non-governmental organization workers, who included Sam LaHood, threatened to derail that funding. The younger LaHood and other NGO workers were prevented from leaving the country after Egyptian officials raided their offices on Dec. 29. More than 40 NGO workers, mainly from the United States and Europe, currently face criminal charges of using illegally obtained funds to stir up unrest inside Egypt. The U.S. government paid more than $4 million in bail as part of a broader agreement to
The high-profile dispute led to some calls on Capitol Hill to eliminate the Egyptian aid package, and human rights groups are bound to complain about Clinton’s action. A military dominated “supreme council” is running Egypt ahead of upcoming presidential elections.
Clinton, however, is expected to waive the requirements on national security grounds. It is unclear at this time whether Egypt will receive the entire $1.3 billion military package or only a portion of it.Top