Qatar denies US pressure to freeze donations to Egypt

January 7, 2012
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Qatar’s ambassador to Egypt has denied reports that his country has been under pressure from the US to freeze the financial assistance it pledged to give to Egypt.

“These allegations are not true and lack credibility,” Saleh Al Buainain said. “Qatar remains committed to its pledge to the Egyptian government and has already donated around $500 million. We have not been under from any country on this issue,” he said, quoted by Qatari daily Al Arab.

Doha and Cairo had agreed on an assistance programme and Qatar remains committed to its implementation, the diplomat said.

“We were among the first states to offer support to Egypt and we are keen on its stability. We are also keen on robust bilateral relations,” he said.

Egyptian daily Al Masry Al Youm on Monday reported that the US Administration and some of its Western allies were exerting pressure on Arab courses to reverse their pledges of donations to Egypt following the January 25 revolution.

Quoting sources it did not identify, the daily attributed the pressure to “numerous divergences between Egypt and the US, the latest of which was over the refusal of the Military Council to choose Mohammad Al Baradei to lead the government following the resignation of Isam Sharaf.”

Arabian Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, last year said that they would donate $3.7 billion to Egypt. The Egyptian daily said that the US pressure included the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which has been slow in honouring a $3 billion support pledge.

The IMF last week said in a statement that any “funding would have to be based on benchmarks that had broad political support.” Benchmarks for any funding package would need to “come from a programme that is designed and owned by the Egyptian authorities and enjoys the broad political support necessary for its successful implementation,” the IMF said.

According to Al Masry Al Youm sources, the US was keen on an official leadership role for Al Baradei “in the light of the strong emergence of the Islamists and their overwhelming presence in the next parliament.”

The Military Council was, however, concerned about Al Baradei leading a move towards a consecrating a full civil state that will curb the powers of the army, the sources said.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/qatar/qatar-denies-us-pressure-to-freeze-donations-to-egypt-1.961136

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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