CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) announced Monday that it will seek an end to US aid to Egypt when parliament is seated in January.
This announcement was a response to Washington’s threat to withhold its military aid, estimated at $1.5 billion, on the back of an inspection campaign targeting 10 civil society organizations including the offices of three US-funded groups promoting democracy.
Ahmed Abou Baraka, legal consultant for the FJP, told Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper that one of the chief goals of his Islamist party which so far has won the majority of seats in the upcoming parliament, is to abolish US aid to Egypt in all its forms, economic and military, because it is used as a means to interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs.
He said the party is has examined the conditions imposed on the Egyptian government through this aid.
"The report of the Central Auditing Agency (CAA) shows that this aid has no economic or social impact on the Egyptian society. It is also a burden on the political and social decision-making in Egypt," Abou Baraka said in a phone-in with Al-Hayat Al-Youm talk show.
He added that this requires a serious review for the interest of Egypt, stressing his rejection of any interference in Egypt’s political stances.
"Egypt can manage to maximize its resources a hundred times more than this aid in one year," he said, adding that Egypt has the potential and resources in the general budget which was misappropriated and wasted through bad planning.
Meanwhile, Tarek Al-Malt, spokesman of the centrist Al-Wasat Party, said that his party is not against foreign aid as long as it is not politically-motivated.
"Our relation with the West and the whole world should be based on respect and mutual interest not on dependence or subordination," he said.
Following the inspection of the local and international NGOs, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that Washington and some of its Western allies are pressing Arab countries not to grant financial aid to Egypt, which they had promised after the uprising, according to undisclosed sources.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE had announced early last year that they will support Egypt with an estimated $8.2 billion.
Yet Egypt has only received $500 million from Saudi Arabia out of a promised $3.7 billion, $500 million from Qatar, and nothing from the UAE which had promised to grant Egypt $3 billion, according to statements by Fayza Aboul Naga, minister of planning and international cooperation last month.
"We believe that after the transfer of power to a civilian authority, we will not need such aid from anyone, however the Arab countries that will respond to this pressure will be abandoning their main role of supporting another Arab country," Al-Malt said.
The US embassy in Egypt denied all claims that the US will refrain from its commitment to grant the promised aid to Egypt.
"On the contrary, we are trying to engage other partners to support Egypt," the embassy said in a press statement sent to Daily News Egypt.