Egypt weighs 'other sources' except US: FM

Egypt weighs 'other sources' except US: FM
Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:25:55

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy has warned that the partial freeze on US aid to Egypt will pursue the country to "find other sources".

In the wake of the US suspending significant military support to Egypt, that country will “find other sources” if its national security needs are not met, Fahmy told CNN on Thursday.

“If your friends in the region, when they’re facing terrorism in particular, cannot depend on a continuous supply of equipment that deals with terrorism, then you are obviously going to raise questions in the mind of those friends about your dependability,” he added, referring to the United States. “And that will affect your interests as well as those of your friends, like Egypt.”

Fahmy called the suspension of some aid a “freeze, or delay” – not a “cut-off.”

The United States announced last week that it would withdraw a significant portion of its military aid to Egypt.

The decision came after months of debate since President Mohamed Morsi was deposed in early July. The American government did not call that a “coup”; if it had done so, it would then have been legally obligated to withdraw aid.

But the harsh government crackdown on pro-Morsi protestors in the past – including hundreds killed in August and dozens just last week – was seen as a step too far by the interim government.

Fahmy pleaded with the international community to be patient with Egypt.

“I refer you back to the US system,” Fahmy said. “It took you a very long number of years before you gave African Americans equal rights in America. So let’s just respect how difficult it has been.”

Washington faces a dilemma in dealing with a major regional ally that controls the strategic Suez Canal and borders Israel but whose army overthrew the first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi, after mass protests against his rule.


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