Egyptian TV presenter Amr Adib denounced recent reports by US media which urged cutting the military aid provided by the US administration to Egypt, claiming that it is worth over $40 billion.
LobeLog, a website focusing on US foreign policy in the Middle East released an article published by William Hartung, the director of Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, questioning whether it is a suitable time to rethink US military aid to Egypt, shedding light on the 2018 Egyptian presidential election.
“At this point the government of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is a democracy in name only. The only genuine candidates against Sisi in [the] election have withdrawn due to intimidation from the regime,” the article said.
“Washington expects Cairo to return the favor for US aid by providing fly-over rights for US aircrafts, expedited access through the Suez canal for the US Navy, counterterrorism cooperation, and maintenance of the peace treaty with Israel. Putting these purported security benefits aside, the underlying issue is that Egypt is not playing the role of staunch ally worthy of over a billion dollars per year in military equipment and training,” the article said.
Adib, however, explained that Egypt is receiving this aid as a part of the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty (Camp David accords) with the auspices of the the United States. The US dedicates a large proportion of economic and military aid for both Egypt and Israel, Israel receives $3 billion annually, while Egypt receives $2.1 billion, made up of $815 million in economic aid and $1.3 billion in military aid.
“The aid value which is $1 billion is not a big deal in Egypt, as the government adds the same value to subsidize the bread system,” stated Adib.
He stressed that Egypt can stand strong on its feet without any US aid, and since the time of the regime of former President Gamal Abdel Nasser, nobody has ever twisted Egypt’s arm: “It is not acceptable that every time something happens in Egypt that may not please the US politicians and institutions, they write articles threatening to uphold their aid,” he said.
Adib said that Egypt does not critically need the aid, as it’s better to pour US investments into the country with bigger funds.
“If you want to cut the aid, we don’t have a problem with it, but as long it was a part of Camp David accords, the whole agreement will be amended,” Adib said.