Wednesday, August 24, 2011

US threatens to cut Egypt aid over Israel

US Congresswoman Kay Granger

Source: Press TV

US Congresswoman Kay Granger has threatened that if Egypt withdraws from its peace treaty with Israel, Washington would cut its USD 2-billion annual aid to Cairo.

“The United States aid to Egypt is predicated on the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, and so the relationship between Egypt and Israel is extremely important,” Granger said in an interview with Jerusalem Post on Monday.

The remark came as tension between Cairo and Tel Aviv increased after Israeli forces killed five Egyptian border guards on Thursday at Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Minister for military Affairs Ehud Barak on Saturday said “Israel deeply regrets the deaths of the Egyptian officers” after Egypt announced it would withdraw its ambassador the Tel Aviv if no official apology was made.

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, but the situation has changed drastically since the overthrow of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak in February; and a number of Egyptian political parties have been calling for changes in the peace treaty.

The United States' annual aid has been provided to Egypt since the Cairo-Tel Aviv peace treaty was signed.

Granger also warned that the US would cut the USD 500-million aid it provides to the Palestinian Authority if it would seek to win a UN recognition for a statehood at the UN General Assembly meeting in September.

Granger is the chairwoman of the US House appropriations foreign operations subcommittee, which is the institution in charge if setting the US foreign aid bill.

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