Egypt Wonders If It Can Trust America

(Jerusalem Post) Zvi Mazel - The recent U.S. cancellation and suspension of part of its aid to Egypt has left Cairo stunned and angry. Former President Obama had frozen part of the aid package, which had the effect of pushing Egypt into the embrace of Russia. The amount withheld was partly related to a recent decision by the Egyptian parliament to limit the activities of civil society NGOs. Egypt does have a troubling record on human rights, but one must remember that it has been a Muslim country for 1,400 years and the clear majority of the population wants to live according to Shari'a. A similar situation is to be found in all Arab countries, and there is no great likelihood that they will become Western democracies anytime soon. Egypt is the most populous and most influential Arab state, with the largest Arab army. It has been at peace with Israel for nearly four decades and is the leader of the Sunni coalition against Iran and Islamic terrorism. It was also a staunch ally of America. There is a feeling in Egypt that despite the protests of goodwill by the new president, America cannot be trusted - and that closer links with Russia are needed. The writer is a former Israeli ambassador to Romania, Egypt and Sweden.

2017-09-04 00:00:00

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