A First Answer to Egypt

(Washington Post) Editorial - The Bush administration has taken a first step toward adjusting its relationship with Egypt following President Mubarak's flagrant violation of his promises to lead a transition to democracy. An Egyptian delegation that was to visit Washington this month to discuss a free-trade agreement has been disinvited, and the agreement itself was put on hold. For Egypt's business community and the reformist technocrats in its cabinet, the message should be clear: Egypt won't join the global economic mainstream unless it abandons its corrupt dictatorship. Egypt has brazenly petitioned the U.S. for hundreds of millions of dollars in new aid this year - over and above the $1.8 billion Egypt regularly receives - ostensibly in compensation for its efforts to maintain security in Gaza. U.S. officials say this request will be rejected - as it should be. Instead, Egypt's standing aid allocation and, in particular, its military component should be subjected to a rigorous review by the administration and Congress.

2006-01-17 00:00:00

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