The Obama administration should threaten to withhold financial aid from Egypt unless President Mohamed Morsi responds to opposition demands to rescind last week’s controversial decree, US Republican Senator John McCain told the Wall Street Journal on Monday.
“This is not acceptable; this is not what US taxpayers expect from Egypt, and our dollars should be directly related to the progress of democracy, which President Morsi promised at the start of his term,” McCain asserted.
The US has leverage not only in providing aid but also in marshalling public opinion, and this is how it can pressure Morsi to withdraw his decree, said McCain.
The US provides more than $1.9 billion in financial aid to Egypt each year, mostly allocated to the Egyptian military.
The European Union has also threatened to decrease aid to Egypt if Morsi insisted on implementing his decree.
The president’s decree has met with opposition both domestically and internationally.
Over a hundred thousand protesters converged on Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Tuesday to protest the move. Morsi’s supporters, meanwhile, are planning a mass rally in support of the president on Saturday.