The Obama Administration is finalizing an aid package to Egypt that includes forgiving approximately $1 billion of Egypt’s debt to the United States. This is in addition to about $1.5 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid. However, the lax reaction of Egypt’s new Islamist government to the violent demonstrations at the U.S. embassy in Cairo has raised questions about the motivations of Egypt’s new Islamist leaders. Congress should monitor the Administration’s ongoing aid negotiations with Cairo and ensure that conditions are attached to any forthcoming aid that will advance U.S. national interests.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a longtime member of the anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood, has set Egypt on a troubling new foreign policy course since coming to power in June. His government has distanced itself from Washington while cozying up to China, improving relations with Iran, and violating its peace treaty with Israel. Morsi’s first trip outside the Middle East was to China. He embraced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at an Islamic summit in Saudi Arabia and became the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran since the 1979 revolution.
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