April 6 Youth Movement co-founder Ahmed Maher said on Friday that the US decision to halt some military and economic aid to Egypt is a step towards national independence, adding that not all aid has been cut.
In a Friday statement, Maher expressed disdain for those Egyptian officials decrying the US military cuts to Egypt, saying that such aid allows for US interference in Egyptian affairs.
“Egyptians should welcome the idea of cutting US aid and start searching for other national means of funding and military training,” he opined, adding that Egypt should seriously consider renouncing all military and economic aid to the government.
“How can we demand national independence while our military and government seeks US funding and US approval. There should be Egyptian alternatives, and US aid should be given up in all its forms,” Maher added.
The Egyptian government expressed its surprise on Thursday regarding the US decision to halt some military and economic aid to Egypt.
“The cabinet is astonished by the United States’ decision on Wednesday to halt some of its military aid to Egypt at this critical moment when Egypt is fighting terrorism,” read the statement released after a Thursday cabinet meeting.
On Wednesday, Washington announced it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles as well as $260 million in cash aid from the military-backed government, pending progress in the areas of democracy and human rights.
However, the US capital said it would continue its support for counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation and security in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
The US also promised to continue funding education, health, and private sector development.
Earlier Thursday, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman said that the US decision to halt some aid to Egypt was “wrong.”
Egypt is the second-largest recipient of US aid after Israel.
Source : Ahram