As Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is put under house arrest by the military, the country’s stability is again put into question, as well as foreign aid, especially from Egypt’s top donor — the United States.
The military has taken over in Egypt just a few days after what was supposed to be a celebration of democracy with the anniversary on June 30 of Morsi’s first year in power. Morsi is considered as Egypt’s first democratically elected president, although his one-year reign has been blemished by controversies over human rights and democratic reform.
On Wednesday, military chief Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi announced on national television the suspension of the country’s constitution and the reinstating of chief justice Adli Mansour as interim president.
The shift in power — not a coup, according to most foreign governments — comes amid a still fragile transition in Egypt. Donors have only started to warm up to the country after decades of authoritarian rule under Hosni Mubarak, and much of their aid has yet to flow.
U.S. President Barack Obama expressed ”deep” concern over Morsi’s removal and said he has “directed the relevant departments and agencies to review the implications under U.S. law for our assistance to the government of Egypt.” The Obama administration however has been careful about calling the latest developments a ”coup.”
The United States is Egypt’s top donor with $1.3 billion in military aid and $250 million in economic assistance. But that aid, under U.S. law, could potentially be cut in the event of a coup.
U.S. aid to Egypt has already been subjected to tough scrutiny by lawmakers, including during the much-talked trial of foreign NGOs in the country.
Egypt has also yet to win a possible $4.8 billion deal with the International Monetary Fund which would pave the way for the resumption of donor aid to the country.
Other donors, such as the European Union and the United Kingdom, have yet to spell out how the current political climate will affect their assistance and current operations in the country. But many of their embassies and consulates across the country remain closed.
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