Egypt's passive-aggressive begging

Does this give you confidence about handing over money to the government of Egypt?

Egypt to ask US for clear position on economic assistance - al-Masri al-Youm

Egypt will ask the US government to clarify its stance on support for the Egyptian economy, Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mahmoud Issa has said, adding that the US is aware of how much it has benefited from its strategic partnership with Egypt.

Issa, who will visit the US on Sunday, said the decision making process in the US tends to take time since it depends on data analysis, but the current situation in Egypt requires swifter action.

Of course, decision-making in Egypt does not depend on data analysis — in fact it is totally independent of facts, reality, or indeed accountability. 

The background of this is accusations that the US is leaning on Gulf states not to give Egypt money (presumably until some conditions, or at least a more coherent approach to the international financial institutions, are met). I certainly hope US decision-makers wait until Issa — and actually, the entire Ganzouri government and SCAF — is no longer in power. Why throw good money after 30 years of bad? And where do they get off thinking that they are owed this money?

Give it all to Tunisia, I say.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.