Monday, March 12, 2012

Egyptian parliament to vote on ending aid from US

Speaker of the People's Assembly of Egypt Saad al-Katatni addresses the parliament in the capital Cairo on January 23, 2012

Source: Press TV

Egypt's new Islamic-majority parliament has decided to vote on ending aid from the United States, which, it says, has no respect for the country’s sovereignty.

The MPs made the decision in the People's Assembly on Sunday, reacting to the March 1 departure from the country of six US defendants in a case of 43 workers of unlicensed NGOs, which are accused of illegally using foreign funds to fuel unrest in Egypt.

Under intense US pressure, most of the foreign defendants were permitted to leave the country after posting bail, even though a travel ban had been imposed on them.

Sixteen US citizens have been accused in the legal case launched against the workers by Egyptian officials. Nine of the Americans were already outside the country when the trial started, while one stayed and is facing trial.

The US had threatened to cut the USD 1.5 billion in financial assistance it provides for Egypt if the issue was not resolved.

Meanwhile, protesters gathered outside the parliament in the capital Cairo, calling for an end to the US assistance and the dismissal of the interim government. The demonstrators accuse the government of ignoring the basic demands of the country’s 2011 revolution, which toppled the regime of former dictator, Hosni Mubarak.

On Friday, security forces clashed with Egyptians protesting near the US Embassy in Cairo against Washington’s interference in the country's internal affairs.

Hundreds of protesters, shouting slogans against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the US and calling for the departure of the US ambassador, threw stones at the security forces.

The parliamentarians also called for a no-confidence vote against the military-appointed prime minister and his cabinet.

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