WaPo: Egypt is Taking U.S. Money and Running
The editorial board of the Washington Post writes that Obama administration’s granting of the full $1 billion in annual military aid to Egypt, despite Egypt’s arguable failure to meet congressional conditions for advancing democracy, hasn’t caused to relations between the two countries to improve. In the last five weeks, U.S. pro-democracy groups have come under greater scrutiny, Egypt has not allowed their offices to be reopened as previously stated, and other governments have followed Egypt’s example by closing pro-democracy NGO’s in their own countries. U.S. officials evoked the waiver arguing that it was in the interest of national security and cutting the aid off at the time would have created dangerous political backlash in Cairo. Meanwhile, the state press has continued to spew anti-American propaganda. The editorial board draws the conclusion, therefore, that the continuation of U.S. aid to Egypt did not help mend tense relations. One thing is for certain, says the article, “Obama has lost much of the leverage over the Egyptian Military—and its credibility with the Egyptian democrats.”
The annulment of the contract with Israel was praised (Arabic) in newspapers across the Arab world. Columnist Wagdi Zeneddin wrote (Arabic) in Al-Wafd that the annulment lead to “the achievement of a definite popular wish to stop the exportation of gas to the Zionist entity.” Bloomberg reports that the pipeline transporting gas to Israel has been blown up more than a dozen times. Nicholas Noe says the subsequent closure of the Saudi Consulate in Egypt also reveals discontent with Mubarak era foreign policy.