U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave the green light Friday for U.S. military aid to Egypt despite concerns that Cairo was not meeting goals in its democratic transition. That includes free and fair parliamentary elections and the transfer of legislative authority to that new assembly, Reuters news reported.
The State Department spokeswoman said that Egypt has made significant progress toward democracy in the last 15 months, including free and fair parliamentary elections and the transfer of legislative authority to the new People’s Assembly, and a date announced for complete transition to civilian leadership.
According to the Associated Press, Clinton has decided that it is in the U.S. national interest to allow $1.3 billion in military aid to flow to Egypt. She also certified that Egypt is meeting its obligations to the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, which frees up an additional $200 million in economic aid.
Congress passed a law late last year that required Egypt's military rulers to support a transition to civilian rule, hold elections and protect religious freedom in order to get the longstanding U.S. aid.
The Republican chair of the House of Representatives foreign aid subcommittee,, said she was disappointed Clinton had decided to waive conditions on military aid while the Egyptian government’s transition was still underway.
For his part, Republican Sen., said it was in U.S. national security interests to provide the aid.
However, according to a Gallup poll reported by CNSN news , the majority of Egyptians (56%) now see closer relations with the U.S. as a bad thing for their country, up sharply from 40% in December 2011. Only 28 percent of Egyptians said closer relations with the U.S. are a good thing.
Egyptians are now more likely to favor closer ties with Turkey and Iran than with the United States, Gallup poll says.
In a related context, according to TASS news, the Egyptian government has failed to negotiate with representatives of the IMF to allocate $3.2 billion of credit to the country.
The delegates of the IMF held three days of talks with the leadership of the country in Cairo. They said a condition for allowing the loan was for the country to achieve political consensus.