Created on: March 04, 2013
United States Secretary of State John Kerry statement Sunday that the federal government will be handing out $250 million in aid to the nation of Egypt’s for its “future as a democracy.”
The $250 million is the first installment in a $1 billion pledge made by President Barack Obama last year. The administration said the large sum of money will be given in exchange for political and economic reforms. Furthermore, Kerry also announced that he will allocate $60 million to a new fund supporting the democratization efforts in Egypt.
Kerry noted in the statement that the U.S. government will keep a close eye on how Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who is the first freely elected leader in June, handles his pledges and commitments.
Egypt is attempting to meet the conditions in order to end a $1 billion loan package given by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in which the government has been in negotiations with. The $1 billion aid would allow the Egyptian government to start tackling the loan.
“The path to that future has clearly been difficult and much work remains,” stated the new Secretary of State in a statement released two hours after his meeting with President Morsi. “The United States can and wants to do more. Reaching an agreement with the IMF will require further effort on the part of the Egyptian government and broad support for reform by all Egyptians. When Egypt takes the difficult steps to strengthen its economy and build political unity and justice, we will work with our Congress at home on additional support.”
Throughout all of his meetings, Kerry emphasized that the U.S. would not pick any sides in the political bickering that has been occurring in Egypt. Throwing a nod to the current political discourse in the U.S., Kerry said that compromise is quite difficult but it is also important.
He added that all sides must gather around human rights, freedom, speech and religious tolerance.
“I say with both humility and with a great deal of respect that getting there requires a genuine give-and-take among Egypt’s political leaders and civil society groups just as we are continuing to struggle with that in our own country,” Kerry explained. “There must be a willingness on all sides to make meaningful compromises on the issues that matter most to all of the Egyptian people.”
After his visit to Egypt, Kerry headed to Saudi Arabia and will later make stops in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. He is expected to return to Washington on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.
So far in the fiscal year 2013, the U.S. government has 46 cents out of every dollar that it has spent, according to the Congressional Budget Office and the Treasury Department’s monthly statement.
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