Egypt’s Ties With US In Turmoil, Egyptian Foreign Minister Says

Nabil Fahmy
Nabil Fahmy

Egypt’s foreign minister acknowledged in comments published on Wednesday that relations with Washington were in a “delicate” phase after it suspended some military aid in response to a July 3 coup.

Nabil Fahmy said US President Barack Obama’s administration overestimated the amount of leverage that its aid dollars bought over the policies of the interim government installed by the army after it overthrew elected president Mohamed Morsi.

“We are right now in a delicate phase reflecting turmoil in the relationship and whoever says otherwise is not speaking honestly,” Fahmy said in an interview with state-owned daily Al-Ahram.

Fahmy said Washington was wrong to assume that its October 10 decision to suspend deliveries of major military hardware and cash assistance of $260m would influence the interim government’s policies.

He blamed the tensions on the former regime of President Hosni Mubarak, which he described as too dependent on military aid from the US.

“We chose the easy option and did not diversify our options… this led the US to wrongly believe that Egypt would always follow its policies and aims,” Fahmy said.

But Fahmy also said the current tensions could be a positive thing, calling it a chance to “better reevaluate the relationship” in the future.

“I am not very worried about this unrest in relations,” he said. “The Egyptian people will not hesitate to bear the consequences of such a situation in order to preserve their freedom of choice after two revolutions.”

Anti-US sentiment has been on the rise in Egypt since July, with prominent politicians and journalists accusing Washington of backing Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and trying to undermine the interim government. [AFP]