State Dept to ‘Waive’ Reform Criteria, Egypt Aid to Flow Again

Spokeswoman Says Important to Maintain 'Influence' Over Junta

Though the final announcement has not been made yet, reports today say that the State Department is planning to resume US aid to Egypt’s military. Instead of “certifying” that the junta is complying with Congressional calls for reform, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is said to be planning to issue a waiver to skip the requirement entirely.

The timing of the move is going to make what is already a controversial decision even moreso, as the US suspension was mostly a function of Congressional anger at Egypt for arresting US NGO workers for meddling in the nation’s parliamentary elections, and the workers were just allowed to leave the country two weeks ago.

This makes the move seem like cynical compensation for Egypt ignoring its election laws. The State Department’s spokeswoman Victoria Nuland defended the potential resumption of aid, insisting that throwing billions at the junta was a vital part of keeping “influence” over them.

Whether Egypt is going to take the cash, however, is still unclear. The Egyptian parliament is still considering a resolution that would ban all US aid from the country, and polls have shown a solid majority of Egyptians oppose taking funds from the US, seeing their “influence” as a threat to sovereignty.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.