US to give $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt

The US is trying to show Washingtonâ„¢s support for the Egyptian military-backed referendum on a new constitution.

The United States is planning to give $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt in order to show Washingtonâ„¢s support for the military-backed referendum on a new constitution.

The House and Senate will unveil a year-long spending bill which will relax restrictions on US aid to Egypt despite a law that prohibits the US from supporting a foreign military that has launched a coup against a democratically elected government.

According to the draft spending bill which is expected to be ratified as early as Friday, Congress will allow the Obama administration to give $975 million to Egypt.

The bill will also permit the release of an additional $576 million dollars if Egypt holds parliamentary and presidential elections.

According to experts and congressional aides, the move is the latest twist in an unsuccessful effort to maintain influence over the Arab country.

The US decision comes as the upcoming constitutional referendum would cement the rule of the military-led regime in the country.

The Egyptian government has been clamping down on protestors, with recent clashes which left five people dead across the country.

Clashes erupted on Tuesday after security forces attacked demonstrators in several provinces.

Tuesday was the first day of a two-day national vote on the countryâ„¢s constitution that has been drafted by the army-backed interim government.

The draft charter bans the formation of religious political parties. It also allows prosecution of civilians in military courts and also empowers the army to appoint the defense minister and keep its budget beyond any civilian scrutiny.

If approved, the new charter will replace the current constitution passed under ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

Washington had halted the delivery of $1.5 billion of annual military aid to Egypt in October, which included Apache helicopters, F-16 fighter jets, Abrams tanks, and Harpoon missiles.


Source: Press TV