U.S. Rep. for Iowa Steve King considered the U.S. decision to cut economic and military aid to Egypt as relics from a misguided Obama-era approach to the Middle East – Photo courtesy of civil.services
CAIRO – 18 October 2017: The United States' move to cut and delay economic and military aid to Egypt “lacks legitimacy”, U.S. Rep. for Iowa Steve King told Egypt Today in a Wednesday interview.
The Republican congressman said the decision is deemed relics from U.S. president Barack Obama’s approach to the Middle East, which he described as “misguided” and aims at manacling powerful presidents like President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
King has expressed concerns about the Administration’s decision to cut $95.7 million, and to delay $195 million, in aid to Egypt to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as he considers Egypt, under the leadership of President Sisi, to be a key ally in the region and an important counterweight in the fight against terrorism fueled by the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Egypt is a key player in the fight against Islamic Radicalism, and these suggested cuts appear to contradict the Trump Administration’s own stated desire to support Egypt and its people in the fight against terror,” King’s statement to Tillerson said.
King also added that he, along with a number of U.S. congressmen who support Egypt’s stand, are communicating with Tillerson on this issue in order for the aid to resume.
The statement, released by King’s media office, said, “President Sisi has boldly promoted greater tolerance for religious minorities by fostering a strong and unprecedented relationship with the Coptic Christian community and by constitutionally guaranteeing the reconstruction and restoration of all churches that had been damaged by acts of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
King added that he is keeping a close eye on the security state in Egypt, for Egypt is designated the heart of the Arab region. He also pointed out to the threats of extremists, which are also deemed a threat to U.S. interests in the region.
In August, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had decided to withhold $65.7 million in military assistance and $30 million in economic aid to Egypt that has been on hold since fiscal 2014, following a decision to cut nearly $100 million in military and economic aid to Egypt.
Additional reporting by Eman Hanna