Several denials and counterdenials later, US military aid to Egypt has ended up being cut, though only a fraction of the $1.5 billion annually will be effected by the move.
The announcement has led to angry condemnations from Israeli and Egyptian officials, with Israel insisting that not sending Egypt the aid unconditionally would be seen as a sign of “weakness” by the Arab world.
US officials had insisted the aid was vital to keeping “influence” over Egypt, and that the cuts would be retracted once the military junta, which seized power in Egypt in July, showed some sign of moving toward something resembling democracy.
Underscoring just how little influence those billions actually bought, however, Egyptian officials insisted that the US cuts would have no effect on their ongoing policy, which is to promise an eventual return to “civilian” government involving the pro-military political parties running against one another in an election that will exclude the former elected government.
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