The chair and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said that $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid to Egypt is in jeopardy due to the country’s harassment of American NGO workers, Foreign Policy reported.
The Jan. 31 statements by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) come in the wake of the Egyptian military raid on several NGO groups in Cairo, including three sponsored by the United States: the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Freedom House.
"They should know that this action on their part jeopardizes a normal relationship between us," Levin said. "They know that, and that includes the impact it could have on aid."
"It's hard to believe,” said McCain, who serves as chairman of the board of IRI. “IRI and NDI worked throughout Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union and we helped them with democracy. They're like mechanics. They come in and tell you how to organize voters, how party registration works, and that kind of stuff. They're not advocates of anybody.”