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Monday, January 31, 2011

Working group on Egypt calls for suspension of US aid

In an earlier post, I took note of a bipartisan working group on Egypt that is meeting with President Obama on Monday. That group issued a statement on Saturday (sorry - there is so much material out there that it's difficult to keep up) that merits consideration. Among other things, it calls for suspending US aid.
The prestigious and, since its formation less than a year ago, consistently ahead-of-the-curve Working Group on Egypt, co-chaired by Michele Dunne of Carnegie and Robert Kagan of Brookings, has just issued a new statement late Saturday. The Group includes Middle East and foreign policy experts ranging from Elliott Abrams of the Council of Foreign Relations and Ellen Bork of the Foreign Policy Initiative to Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch and Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress. Its members have been warning for months that the situation in Egypt is unstable, and they’ve been urging the U.S. government to take a more active role in planning for a post-Mubarak Egypt. They’re now calling for a suspension of aid to Egypt until the Egyptian government commits to free and fair elections and the transfer of power to a legitimate government.

Here’s the statement:
Statement of the Working Group on Egypt, Saturday January 29, 2011

Amidst the turmoil in Egypt, it is important for the U.S. 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

-- publicly declare that Mr. 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.
It's difficult to disagree with any of that, although as much of this as possible should be done privately but not publicly unless there is no other way than going public to get Mubarak to yield his position.

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At 9:57 PM, Blogger Nomadic100 said...

I'd appreciate your view of Debbie Schlussel's most recent post.

At 10:14 PM, Blogger Hutzpan said...

I'm afraid all these actions will inevitably result in the next president to be a MB protegee.

So, Islamic Republic of Egypt is now a sure thing.

At 11:03 PM, Blogger NormanF said...


They might as well hand over the country to the Muslim Brotherhood.

If free elections ARE held in Egypt, that is exactly what is going to be happen.

And no one should be surprised if Mubarak is stupid enough to take that "advice" from Washington. He should be massacring the pro MB mobs like King Hussein of Jordan massacred Palestinian terrorists and be feared again. We should be looking the other way and give Mubarak full carte blanche to clean up his country the Arab way.

We have two options: either pro-Western Arab dictators who can keep a lid on extremism at home or have terrorist regimes emerge that will be a threat not only to Israel but to the entire world.

Democracy, in the Arab World will bring terrorists to power. Any one who pretends otherwise is naive and a fool or a useful pawn of the extremists there.

Suspending US aid to Egypt will negate American influence and bring the MB to power and it will be a disaster for US interests in the Middle East. Hey, they can't say they were warned.

At 4:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, this is where a portion of the old-school pro-democracy neo-conservatives are today, including William Kristol. Part of problem, besides free will, the human condition, and the mystery of evil in a broken cosmos, is that there aren't many good ways to get from point A to point B in closed societies. Point A is revolt and Kerensky, point B, more often than not, bolshevism and the guillotine. Life sucks. Beauty and kindess proceed hand and hand with ugliness, terror, and cruelty. This too shall pass.


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