A senior legal adviser to the Freedom and Justice Party has said that elected officials from his party would reassess the $1.3 billion in annual U.S. aid to the Egyptian military.
In an interview on Egyptian television, the adviser, Ahmed Abu Bakar, said U.S. aid to Egypt, including to the military, does not help the economy or Egyptians and would be subject to debate by the new parliament. The statements come at a tense moment in U.S.-Egyptian relations, after security forces stormed the offices of 10 civil society organizations, including three American pro-democracy groups, over accusations of illicit foreign funding.
“Anything that affects Egyptian political decisions and anything that constitutes as intervention in internal Egyptian affairs is something we blatantly refuse,” Bakar said.
In recent months, U.S. diplomats and other officials have met with members of the Freedom and Justice Party. Those meetings mark a shift in policy for the United States, which has long regarded the Brotherhood as a threat to regional stability. But the willingness of Americans to engage the group is a nod to the reality that the Brotherhood will be a decision-maker in Egypt and a major player on the international stage.