Kinsman: Should Western governments cut off aid to Egypt?

By: /
16 August, 2013
Former ambassador to the European Union and high commissioner to Britain

Democracies should be giving more aid to Egypt, not less.

The current economic disaster is one more volatile ingredient in the explosive mixture. But enhanced western aid needs to be absolutely conditional on immediate power-sharing. An inclusive commission should guide a firm transition to elections and pluralist institutions. If the army balks at outside interference, cut off military aid. The Moslem Brotherhood may hold out for restoring the elected status quo ante the coup – they are right in principle but need to accept that the political climate has turned against them. They should settle for impartial prosecution of those responsible for these killings and power-sharing going forward.

If the three principal power bases of Army, Brotherhood, and “secular” democrats cannot pact together, Egypt is doomed, with great damage to democratic aspirations elsewhere. Western democracies have got just about everything wrong about Egypt. Though their credibility is at a low ebb, it’s time they got together now to get the biggest things right at last.

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