Saudi Arabia Promises $5 Billion to Egypt

2:54 PM, Jul 9, 2013   |    comments
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Saudi Arabia's finance minister says the kingdom has pledged $5 billion in grants and loans to Egypt's new government, a second major promise of aid from the Gulf to the cash-strapped country after the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.

Saudi Arabia is a leading critic of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, as is the United Arab Emirates which earlier Tuesday announced a $3 billion package to Egypt.

The aid is the clearest sign yet of shifting policies among the wealthy Gulf nations. Qatar had been a main backer of the Brotherhood, giving Morsi's government several billion dollars.

Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf says the package includes $2 billion to be deposited in Egypt's Central Bank and $2 billion worth of oil and gas.

While, the Obama administration throws its support behind Egypt's military, some members of Congress are looking at withholding some or all of America's annual $1.5 billion aid package if a civilian government isn't quickly restored.

These lawmakers face a high hurdle without administration support. But after watching the violence spiral upward in Cairo and elsewhere, more U.S. lawmakers questioning whether the Egyptian military's ouster of Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood-led government last week must be defined as a "coup" - which the administration hasn't declared.

The White House says it won't withhold funds from Egypt's army.

But some in Congress say this military action against a democratically elected president should change the calculation.

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin and Arizona Sen. John McCain both are calling for an aid cutoff.


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