Brotherhood: US aid 'chain that restricts Egypt's freedom'

Ahram Online, Wednesday 15 Feb 2012

The Freedom and Justice Party's president says it's 'too early' to discuss fate of US financial/military aid to Egypt, while the Brotherhood's deputy leader describes the aid programme as a fetter on the country

The Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood meets US ambassador in cairo (Photo: Reuters)

It is too early to discuss the possible rejection of annual US financial aid to Egypt as this could hinder the ongoing process of restructuring state institutions, president of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) Mohamed Morsi stated on Wednesday.

Morsi's statement came in response to recent assertions by prominent Salafist preacher Mohamed Hassan that US financial assistance to Egypt should be replaced by donations from Egyptian citizens.

The FJP head added that US assistance to Egypt was military aid linked to the Camp David accords with Israel, stressing there was "no time to speak about the issue right now."

Meanwhile, Muslim Brotherhood deputy leader Rashad Bayoumi issued a statement on Wednesday slamming US assistance to Egypt and US ambassador in Cairo Anne Patterson.

“US assistance is like a chain that restricts our freedom,” Bayoumi said in his statement. The Egyptian people, he added, should reject "this humiliating aid."

Bayoumi went on to criticise Patterson, asserting that she had a "questionable" history in Pakistan which, he said, she was trying to replicate in Egypt.

Bayoumi also condemned foreign-funded NGOs operating in Egypt and recent appeals for a nationwide labour strike. He described the latter as an "American-Zionist attempt to thwart the march of freedom and progress in the Arab world" after it had become clear that the Arab people would elect Islamists parties, especially the Muslim Brotherhood.

The issue of the $1.5 billion in annual US aid to Egypt - $1.3 billion in military assistance - has come to the fore recently following growing tensions between Cairo and Washington in the wake of the foreign-funded NGOs case.

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