Connect to share and comment
Relations between the US and Egypt reach new lows as ongoing spat over civil society groups puts spotlight on peace treaty with Israel.
Relations between Egypt and the United States reached new lows this week as senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood threatened to review the country's peace treaty with Israel if US aid to Egypt was cut off.
Officials in Washington have suggested that the $1.3 billion in aid given to Egypt be cut, according to the National Journal, after an Egyptian probe into civil society groups which has resulted in charges against 43 activists, including 19 Americans who have been prohibited from exiting the country.
Egypt has already rejected a demand for their release by US army general Martin Dempsey who met with Egyptian officials last week.
Ironically, the campaign against the groups is being led by the Egyptian minister for international cooperation, Fayza Aboul Naga, a Mubarak-era holdover.
In a letter addressed to the Egyptian military council's leader, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, 41 members of Congress wrote: "The absence of a quick and satisfactory resolution to this issue will make it increasingly difficult to defend [...] current levels of assistance to Egypt."
According to the Associated Press, the Muslim Brotherhood's comments were made by Mohammed Morsi, the leader of the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, to an Egyptian state news agency Thursday and were subsequently posted on the party's Facebook page.
The Muslim Brotherhood has thrown its support to the military government in the crackdown on civil society groups, rejecting pressure by US officials to drop the accusations against them, says the Associated Press.
This spat comes at a time of heated rhetoric by Egyptian authorities who accuse the United States of sowing anarchy on the streets, according to the Financial Times.
The fate of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, the cornerstone to stability in the region, has been a a constant worry for American and Israeli policymakers since the start of the Egyptian revolution the Guadian suggests.
Many Egyptians consider US aid as a payment for making and preserving peace with a country that was once a mortal enemy.