US c´tee moves to control Egypt, PA money (JERUSALEM POST) By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JPOST CORRESPONDENT 05/10/12)
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WASHINGTON – A congressional subcommittee approved a foreign aid
budget tightening control over money to Egypt and the Palestinians
Wednesday following some members’ concern over developments in the
The House foreign operations appropriations subcommittee passed by
voice vote the $40.1 billion foreign operations budget for 2013,
which includes fully funding the $3.1b. US commitment to Israeli
military assistance as part of the 10-year Memorandum of
Understanding between the two countries.
However, the legislation cut funding for UNESCO, after the UN body
voted to recognize Palestine as a member state. The Obama
administration has been seeking a way to restore funding to the
organization, though the law in its current format prohibits American
contributions to any UN group that unilaterally recognizes the
The bill, which should be voted on by the entire appropriations
committee next week, also maintains $1.3b. in military aid to Egypt
as an ongoing commitment stemming from the Camp David Accords.
But following the Egyptian revolution and questions about its new
government that will take power, Congress imposed more conditions on
the military aid and $250m. in economic assistance.
Should Egypt break its treaty with Israel, as some emerging political
voices have threatened, the assistance would automatically be cut. In
addition, the US secretary of state would need to certify that
upcoming elections are free and policies respecting civil rights are
Though the secretary would have the ability to waive the restriction
based on the elections if providing the aid to Egypt was declared in
the national security interests of the United States, there is no
waiver provision if the peace treaty ruptures.
The limitations stem in part from a desire by Congress to tighten
control of allocations after US President Barack Obama used a waiver
to override a member’s hold on funds to the Palestinian Authority
last month, according to Capitol Hill sources.
Congress has also been upset by the detention of American pro-
democracy NGO workers in Egypt, and has threatened aid to Egypt on
this account as well.
The Palestinians would see their funding withheld if they made any
agreement with Hamas and did not actively work to end incitement, a
tightening of the current language ruling out aid under a unity
government between Fatah and Hamas.
The bill cuts $2b. off last year’s budget and billions more from
Obama’s proposal unveiled in February. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem
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