Sunday, January 30, 2011

Money Talks

The United States gives $1.5 billion to the Egyptian government, $1.3 billion comes in the form of  military aid.  That means we are subsidizing the brutality and repression that is being meted out by Egypt's security forces. 

The Working Group on Egypt, which Politico describes is a "bipartisan group of former U.S. officials and foreign policy scholars," urged the Obama administration to suspend all economic and military aid to Egypt until the government agrees to hold elections and end its assault on civil liberties and civil rights. 

The Working Group issued the following statement today:

Amidst the turmoil in Egypt, it is important for the United States to remain focused on the interests of the Egyptian people as well as the legitimacy and stability of the Egyptian government.

Only free and fair elections provide the prospect for a peaceful transfer of power to a government recognized as legitimate by the Egyptian people. We urge the Obama administration to pursue these fundamental objectives in the coming days and press the Egyptian government to:
  • call for free and fair elections for president and for parliament to be held as soon as possible;
  • amend the Egyptian Constitution to allow opposition candidates to register to run for the presidency;
  • immediately lift the state of emergency, release political prisoners, and allow for freedom of media and assembly;
  • allow domestic election monitors to operate throughout the country, without fear of arrest or violence;
  • immediately invite international monitors to enter the country and monitor the process leading to elections, reporting on the government's compliance with these measures to the international community; and
  • publicly declare that Hosni Mubarak will agree not to run for re-election.
We further recommend that the Obama administration suspend all economic and military assistance to Egypt until the government accepts and implements these measures.

[Related posts:  Note to US:  Invest in Populations, Not Dictators]


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