Gulf States are not helping Egypt enough: UK

Amer Sultan in London, Saturday 10 Mar 2012

While Western nations prepare aid packages for Egypt, London says that Arab Gulf states are not bearing their proper responsibility

Egypt and Arabs
Photo: Reuters

Western countries are not satisfied with the level of wealthy Arab states' support for Egypt after the revolution, Ahram Online can reveal.

Ahram Online sources confirm that consultations are ongoing among some large economic powers aimed at convincing Gulf States to raise their level of economic and financial support for Egypt.

“Western friends of Egypt are putting together a package, hoping it will be accepted (by Egypt),” a senior UK diplomat told Ahram Online. He confirmed that the UK government held a meeting recently to discuss the package. “We are offering a macroeconomic support package with the rest of the G8 and the Multilateral Development Bank,” the diplomat confirmed.

“The Gulf countries have yet to be persuaded that they need and should give large scale economic support to Egypt,” the UK diplomat said, describing these countries as a great body of support for Egypt.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal confirmed last week that his country is committed to meet its financial commitments to support the Egyptian economy. He added that his country's support package is worth $3.75 billion. Al-Faisal confirmed the kingdom has already transferred a grant of $0.5 billion to the Egyptian Ministry of Finance via the Central Bank of Egypt.

Kamal El-Ganzouri, Egypt's interim prime minister, has publicly criticised Gulf countries for not following through on promises to help his country. 

Egypt refused an international aid package last summer, ruling out the idea of foreign borrowing. However, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) changed its mind when consultations showed that domestic borrowing is much more expensive.

The UK believes that once SCAF has handed power over to an elected civilian president, Egypt will be better able to secure economic and financial support.

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