In what can only be described as yet another coercive move, it is quite clear that Washington’s decision to cut $96 million in aid to Egypt and to suspend $195 million in Foreign Military Financing funding to the country is to pressure Cairo into following the US Middle Eastern policy agenda even though currently it lies largely in tatters, particularly with respect to Syria and Iraq.
The fact that Washington suggested that this suspension in aid was due to the failure of Cairo to respect human rights and democratic norms was nothing more than a red herring. Not least, if that really was the case why have they taken so long to take such action?
However the real reason is because of the ever-growing political and military cooperation between Cairo and Moscow. In addition the fact that Cairo is increasing its purchases of arms from Russia instead of the US is seemingly too much for Washington to bear.
The development of relations between Egypt and Russia includes the creation of a universal front against terrorism, whilst also offering support for the de-escalation zones initiative in Syria, as well as the Syrian peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan. Egypt and Russia are also seeking to enhance economic ties and energy projects beginning with the construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, the creation of a Russian industrial estate in Egypt and the creation of a free-trade zone between Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
Cairo is fully aware of Washington’s attempts to deepen the Sunni-Shiite divide and drag Egypt into its controversial foreign policy in the region whilst in the process driving a wedge between Egypt and the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations.
All this has succeeded in doing is exposing the weakness of relations between the US and Egypt and furthermore the significant political differences inside the Trump administration whereby Trump phoned the Egyptian president al-Sisi to inform him that he opposed such move on stopping aid to Cairo.
The reality is that cutting such economic aid is largely meaningless from an Egyptian perspective despite the figures presented. However there are concerns that the US intention to cut military and financial aid to the country Washington could lead to the rise of terrorism inside Egypt although Cairo is confident of securing financial support from other sources. There is no doubt that Washington is also angered by Egypt’s stance towards Libya and Syria which has contradicted that of the United States.
Washington’s continued belligerent stance towards any nation who refuses to adopt their foreign policy position is merely highlighting to the world that they are weak and ineffectual. In addition it is driving those nations to form relations with the likes of China and Russia which is completely and utterly counter intuitive from Washington’s perspective and to their perceived agenda. It is for that reason alone that we have to wonder what exactly is their motivation to continue to shoot themselves in the head, foot and torso?
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