Blackmail, plain and simple. The Accords are really wired for it, a package deal tying many other conditions into the peace treaty other than an agreement between one state and another, and many conditions are quite open to interpretation, with compliance in the eye of a hostile beholder. “Brotherhood lawmaker: US aid to Cairo ‘assured’,” by Oren Kessler for the Jerusalem Post, February 12:
US aid to Egypt is guaranteed by the Camp David Accords, and stopping it would be a violation of that treaty, a high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood lawmaker said Sunday.
Essam El-Erian, who also serves as chairman of the Egyptian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said that should aid from Washington be cut, the Brotherhood would consider changing the terms of Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
El-Erian told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat the US needs to understand that “what was acceptable before the revolution is no longer,” and that should the aid provisions outlined in the treaty be modified, it could open the door to further changes in the agreement.
A Gallup poll released last week found 71 percent of Egyptians oppose US economic aid to their country, and a similar percentage oppose Washington sending direct aid to civil society groups. Last month the US administration announced it would speed up aid to Egypt as the country copes with mounting economic problems during the transition from president Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade term in power.
Congress has already approved $1.3 billion in military aid and $250 million in civilian aid for the current fiscal year. That assistance, however, is conditioned upon Egypt meeting all of its obligations under its peace treaty with Israel. That factor that may help explain the unpopularity of US aid — the treaty is widely unpopular in Egypt, and many see the conditions on US aid as an infringement on the country”s sovereignty.
The poll found Egyptians are just as likely to support aid from fellow Arab states as they are to oppose it from the US.
But Fayza Abouelnaga, Egypt’s minister of planning and international cooperation, noted recently that her country had received only $500m. of the $3.7b. promised by Saudi Arabia, $500m. of the $1.5b. pledged by Qatar and none of the $3b. promised by the United Arab Emirates. Abouelnaga said in December that Egypt’s foreign debt had reached $34.4b., representing 15% of its gross domestic product.
Half of respondents said they would be willing to accept aid from international institutions. Last week, Egypt’s military and political leaders initially rejected an offer of $3.2b. in support from the International Monetary Fund, but later said they had changed their minds….