A key Democratic senator on foreign-policy issues is suggesting that U.S. aid to Egypt could suffer in the wake of the military coup that overthrew the Middle Eastern nation’s elected president on Wednesday.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat and chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the State Department’s budget for foreign aid, says his staff is closely monitoring the developments in Egypt, where military leaders have called for new elections to be held.
“Egypt’s military leaders say they have no intent or desire to govern, and I hope they make good on their promise,” Mr. Leahy said in a statement Wednesday. “In the meantime, our law is clear: U.S. aid is cut off when a democratically elected government is deposed by a military coup or decree.”
Mr. Leahy said the now-ousted government of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi had “been a great disappointment to the people of Egypt.” But, the Vermont Democrat stressed that U.S. senators would be giving extra scrutiny toward Egypt going forward.
“As we work on the new budget, my committee also will review future aid to the Egyptian government as we wait for a clearer picture,” Mr. Leahy said. “As the world’s oldest democracy, this is a time to reaffirm our commitment to the principle that transfers of power should be by the ballot, not by force of arms.”