The United States has suspended negotiations with Egypt aimed at additional US financial aid and debt relief, following protests of an anti-Islam film produced in America.
The protests started in Cairo last week and spread across the Muslim world, where US diplomatic buildings were stormed and attacked. The destabilizing effects led the State Department to order all US embassies and consulates around the world to review their security postures.
Officials on Tuesday said that talks between Washington and Cairo geared at giving Egypt even more US aid, in an Obama administration attempt to shore up leverage in the post-revolution country, were put on hold in the wake of the protests, and are not due to restart before the upcoming US presidential elections.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that “the points that we are continuing to make [with Egypt] are about the importance of maintaining security, vigilance, working together.”
“That is moving well. And as you know, we are continuing to work with the Hill on the support that we think is important to support those very forces of moderation, change, democracy, openness in Egypt that are very important for defeating extremism of the kind that we saw,” Nuland added.
The Obama administration apparently viewed negotiations with Egypt as politically costly, choosing to wait until he wins in November and to wait and see if he gets more Democratic support on Capitol Hill.