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08 May 2006

U.S senate cuts aid to Egypt over democracy

medium_mubar6.gifThe U.S. Senate this week slashed 10 percent of domestic assistance to Egypt because it failed to introduce democratic reforms.

The 47 million US dollars cut was passed on Wednesday with President Bush’s administration opposing the cut. Jim Kolbe, the Chairman of the Foreign Operation sub committee said Egypt is a strategic ally to U.S and will they will lobby to restore the assistance.

A number of legislators want to cut assistance to Egypt because of its failure to introduce promised democratic reforms. The Bush administration opposes the cuts, noting Egypt’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and a Bush ally in the U.S. House of Representatives said he would restore the assistance when the foreign operations bill goes to conference.

“Egypt is a strategic ally. We shouldn’t be doing something like this right now,” Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz), chairman of the foreign operations subcommittee, told National Journal. Egypt gets $1.3 billion in military aid and just under $500 million in domestic assistance stemming from its 1978 peace accord with Israel.

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