US Ambassador Anne Patterson (Photo: AFP)
The Muslim Brotherhood issued an angry statement denouncing the visit of the new US ambassador to Egypt, Ann Paterson, to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) before presenting her credentials. Ambassador Paterson reportedly demanded during the visit that US funding of NGOs be taken off the agenda, claiming hatred towards the United States was being incited.
The Muslim Brotherhood described the visit as "dangerous" and "explicit interference" in internal Egyptian affairs. The group added that the regime that used to follow the US policies has fallen, asking citizens to refuse US funding.
Debate about US funding of NGOs in Egypt started when Ambassador Paterson stated in front of Congress that Washington disbersed more than $40 million to NGOs in Egypt since the January uprising. She reportedly told Major General Mohamed El Assar, a member of SCAF, that the sum will increase to $105 million. The Muslim Brotherhood demanded transparency in the funding.
Despite the attack on the US ambassador, the Brotherhood statement praised the EU and its officials, claiming that the EU has no hidden agenda and does not interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs, and that relations between Egypt and the EU are built on mutual respect.