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  Politics
White House releases USD 1.5 bln aid to Egypt, meets Brotherhood figures
05/04/2012   |   09:52 PM | Arab News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
WASHINGTON, April 5 (KUNA) -- The White House defended the decision to release USD 1.5 billion in foreign aid to Egypt, on Thursday, following meetings between U.S. officials and lawmakers and representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington.
"We believe it is in the interest of the United States to engage with all parties in Egypt and to continue to engage with Egypt, because Egypt has been an important ally of the United States and has played a significant role in the region, "White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
Carney did not answer why the foreign aid was released all at once, rather than in tranches as some lawmakers had strongly lobbied for after the Egyptian government prosecuted American and international pro-democracy workers.
However, he said the Obama administration is engaging with Egypt's new actors "to try to work with them during this historic transformation in the post-revolution era and to try to encourage them both to pursue democracy in its fullest sense as well as pursue the kind of international obligations that they've maintained in the past." The United States gives Egypt USD 1.5 billion in military aid annually that must be spent on U.S. made weapons and goods, including M1A1 tanks and F-16 fighter jets.
Separately, Carney acknowledged the Obama administration, including national security officials, and lawmakers met with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, saying "Anyone who has paid any attention to the post-revolution developments in Egypt that the Muslim Brotherhood will be a major player".
He defended the meeting in Washington as "the right thing to do" and said the White House will judge "all of the political actors in Egypt by their actions". (end) hy.gb KUNA 052152 Apr 12NNNN
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