Clinton and Morsi Discuss Economic Assistance
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi met in New York to discuss the potential for expanded aid, despite the recent outbreak of violence in the region. The proposed $1 billion in debt relief for Egypt had been put into question as U.S. embassies came under attack. In a briefing following the meeting, a senior state department official said, “What [Morsi] heard from the secretary is that she is committed to following through on what she has said we will do. Of course we understand that there may be [members of Congress] who have questioned [the aid], but there is strong bipartisan support for Egypt being a democratic success because it’s in our national security interest that that occur.”
In an interview with Charlie Rose, President Morsi was firm in his belief that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad must go. However, Morsi indicated that foreign intervention was not a suitable option for Assad’s removal. ”I am against foreign intervention by force in what happens in Syria. I do not condone this and I think that it is a big mistake if it happens,” Morsi said.
Meanwhile, the supreme state security court of Egypt upheld sentences given to 14 members of Tawid wa al-Jihad. The group was implicated in the violent attacks on Egyptian security units in the Sinai Peninsula during the summer. Another four members were given life in prison, while six were acquitted of the charges.
A piece by Yaakov Lappin discusses the implications of border violence between Egypt and Israel, and the possibilities of a retooled peace treaty between the two countries. The current rash of attacks has prompted the Egyptian military to temporarily move more equipment into the Sinai, with Israeli consent. However, Lappin points out, a more long-term agreement may be necessary.