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Amid New Egyptian Protests, U.S. Lawmakers Conflicted on Cutting Aid –

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Published: August 18, 2013










CAIRO — Lawmakers in Washington on Sunday condemned the recent crackdown by government forces in Egypt but remained conflicted on whether to punish the military by trimming or cutting off aid, even as supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, held more protests.



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“I would cut off aid but engage in intense diplomacy in Egypt and in the region to try to say, Look, we will restore aid when you stop the bloodshed in the street and set up a path toward democracy that you were on before,” said Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota.

“In my mind, there’s no way to say that this was not a coup,” Mr. Ellison said on ABC’s “This Week.” “It is. We should say so. And then we should follow our own law, which says we can’t sit — we cannot fund the coup leaders.”

Representative Peter King, Republican of New York, cautioned, however, that reducing aid would curtail American influence over Egypt’s interim government. “We certainly shouldn’t cut off all aid,” Mr. King said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“The fact is there’s no good guys there,” he said. “But of the two, I think there is more opportunity to protect American interests if we work with the military and continue our relationship with the military.”

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, said on “This Week” that the United States needed to “recalibrate” its aid to make American displeasure abundantly clear but not endanger security needs like priority passage through the Suez Canal.

The varied opinions offered by lawmakers illustrated the difficulty facing President Obama, who has condemned the violence, canceled joint military exercises and delayed the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets. But he faces hard choices: risk a partnership that has been the bedrock of Middle East peace for 35 years or stand by while longtime allies try to hold on to power by mowing down opponents.

On one side, the Israelis, Saudis and other Arab allies have lobbied Mr. Obama to go easy on the Egyptian generals in the interest of thwarting what they see as the larger and more insidious Islamist threat.

The discussions in Washington occurred as some supporters of Mr. Morsi took to the streets in Cairo on Sunday to protest his ouster. The afternoon passed relatively quietly as Egypt’s rulers met to discuss the bloody confrontations with Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood that have left at least 1,000 people dead. The government said on Sunday that 79 people died in Saturday’s violence.

In comments to military and police officers on Sunday, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, who ousted Mr. Morsi and appointed the new government, pledged to crack down on anyone resorting to violence, Reuters reported, but apparently he struck a conciliatory note by saying, “There is room for everyone in Egypt.”

In a statement, the Muslim Brotherhood derided General Sisi’s comments and disputed claims that its members had used violence in their demonstrations. State and private news media have increasingly taken to describing members of the Brotherhood as terrorists.

The military’s overthrow of Mr. Morsi was intended to undermine democracy, the Brotherhood’s statement said. “The Egyptian people who discovered the trick now realize the size of the conspiracy against their freedom, dignity and sovereignty,” the statement said. “As a result, the people are holding an uprising all over the republic to stand against injustice.”

On Sunday, Western governments continued to wrestle with the implications of the violence for continued cooperation with the interim government. The European Union warned that it would “urgently review” its relations with Egypt during emergency talks on Monday.

In a statement, the European Union said that while all should exercise restraint, the onus for stopping the violence rested with the interim government. “The calls for democracy and fundamental freedoms from the Egyptian population cannot be disregarded, much less washed away in blood,” the statement said.


Rod Nordland reported from Cairo and Brian Knowlton in Washington. Michael Schwirtz contributed reporting from New York.

via Amid New Egyptian Protests, U.S. Lawmakers Conflicted on Cutting Aid –


Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. ( and blog ( He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

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