Egyptian opposition groups reject U.S. threats to block aid
One of Egypt's main opposition parties and its biggest Islamist movement condemned a US decision to block all new aid after the imprisonment of an Egyptian-American human rights advocate.
The opposition Wafd party and a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood both decried the White House's decision as interference in Egypt's internal affairs. The two parties even suggested Saturday that Egypt would be better off without the two billion dollars a year it already gets in civilian and military aid from the United States, which is not affected by the cut-off.
"The Wafd rejects this blatant US intervention in Egypt's internal affairs," the liberal-leaning party's mouthpiece newpaper said, saying its "total solidarity with the Egyptian government in confronting any foreign pressure."
Party president Noaman Gomaa "called on President Hosni Mubarak to consult with officials and financial experts to establish a program (so that Egypt) could dispense with US aid ... so that Egypt's will would not be subjected to any foreign pressure," the paper said, according to AFP.
"We are against any interference from any foreign authority in our own policy, in our own business," Maamoun al-Hodeiby, spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, told AFP. "We have always been sure that any aid from the United States is not in our benefit. It is better that we do not depend on foreign aid."
"We are not against the United States (doing something) for human rights, but they are defending one person only, they are not defending human rights," Hodeiby said. (Albawaba.com)
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