Egypt could survive without US aid: PM

Egypt could survive without US aid: PM
Wed Aug 21, 2013 08:31:08

Egypt's interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi says it would be a mistake if the United States cut off military aid but insisted Cairo could survive without it.

A possible move by Washington to stop US weapons deliveries and other assistance to Egypt "will be a bad sign and will badly affect the military for some time," Beblawi told ABC News on Tuesday.

A violent crackdown by Egypt's security forces against supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi has prompted Washington to cancel an exercise and delay the transfer of four F-16s, amid speculation more aid could be withheld from Cairo.

But Beblawi said that, in the past, Egypt had turned to Russia for weapons and would find a way forward, even without American help if necessary.

"Let's not forget that Egypt went with the Russian military for support and we survived. So, there is no end to life," he said. "You can live with different circumstances."

Saudi Arabia has said it and other Arab states would step in to provide assistance if Washington cut the flow of military aid.

But Beblawi expressed regret over tensions in US-Egypt relations since the July 3 coup that toppled Morsi, Egypt's first elected president.

"We are sorry that at this moment there is a kind of misunderstanding," Beblawi said. "There is a lot of misunderstanding and I'm sure that the time will work to the benefit of both sides."

The interim prime minister also said he does "not fear civil war" in Egypt and that though he expected more "problems," the country was heading in the "right direction."

Egyptian authorities detained the leader of the Islamist movement of the deposed president on Tuesday, as the military-installed government showed no sign of backing off of its bloody crackdown.

Nearly 900 people have died in clashes between security forces and Morsi's supporters.

The United States has provided $1.3 billion in military assistance, including F-16 fighters and Abrams tanks, to Egypt every year since 1987.


string(1656) "[{"id":"1506864","sort":"3074419","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/18/alalam_635124458888195533_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iran calls for democratic solution to Egypt crisis"} ,{"id":"1507192","sort":"3074418","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/19/alalam_635125279822334373_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Berlin likely to suspend arms exports to Egypt"} ,{"id":"1507195","sort":"3074417","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/19/alalam_635125327619494537_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Ambush kills 25 Egypt policemen in Sinai"} ,{"id":"1507261","sort":"3074416","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/19/alalam_635125318023634918_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"US congressmen gulf over Egypt aid widens"} ,{"id":"1507277","sort":"3074414","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/19/alalam_635125431508754693_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Worst scenario for Egypt: another Syria"} ,{"id":"1507295","sort":"3074415","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/19/alalam_635125404655736227_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Saudi FM brushes off threats to cut Egypt aid"} ,{"id":"1507392","sort":"3074413","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/20/alalam_635125853780476105_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Egypt Muslim Brotherhood leader held"} ,{"id":"1507427","sort":"3074412","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/20/alalam_635125901317412407_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Turkey slams Arab monarchs on Egypt"} ,{"id":"1507617","sort":"3074410","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/20/alalam_635126266471590717_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"'Israel footprints behind Egypt coup'"} ,{"id":"1507677","sort":"3074411","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/08/21/alalam_635126683887270512_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Erdogan angers US, Israel over Egypt"} ]"