Moussa: Egypt will fare better without US aid

Presidential hopeful Amr Moussa said Thursday he supports ending US aid to Egypt. In a speech during a campaign rally in the South Sinai city of Tor Sinai, Moussa said he believed the country would fare better without the money.

Egypt’s conditions won’t be improved until it stops receiving US aid, Moussa said.

On Wednesday, Moussa also called for a decreased dependence on U.S. aid and support, saying "a nation lives depending on aid must feel that there is something wrong."

On Saturday 11 February, Salafi preacher Mohamed Hassan appeared on state TV and called for replacing US aid with “Egyptian aid.” He urged Egyptians inside and outside the country to donate to a fund to replace US aid, which he said is used to influence the country’s foreign and domestic policies.

Hassan has launched a fundraising campaign to support the economy in response to US government threats to halt aid over Egypt’s prosecution of workers from local and foreign NGOs on suspicion of illegal funding.

Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri has also said his government backs the fundraising campaign. Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, leader of the country’s religious authority, also lent his support.

News reports say that Hassan’s campaign has collected millions of pounds. Egyptian Social Democratic Party MP Ziad al-Elaimy criticized the campaign and Hassan last week, saying that the state should spend on its citizens instead of burdening them.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm.

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