August 15, 2002

Bush, in Shift on Egypt, Links New Aid to Rights (Peter Slevin, August 15, 2002, Washington Post)

The Bush administration will oppose any additional foreign aid for Egypt to protest the Egyptian government's prosecution of human rights campaigner Saad Eddin Ibrahim and its poor treatment of pro-democracy organizations, administration sources said yesterday.

The Ibrahim case makes it "impossible" for the administration to contemplate extra money for Egypt, according to a White House official who said President Bush will soon advise Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in writing of his decision. Existing aid programs will not be affected.

Bush's decision to criticize Mubarak and connect Egypt's human rights performance to economic aid is a notable shift in policy toward a longtime ally considered essential to U.S. efforts to calm the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and remove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

If you've been paying any attention for the past year how can President Bush telling an Arab dictator that it's time to start democratizing still come as a surprise? Posted by Orrin Judd at August 15, 2002 7:28 AM
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