CAIRO: “Europe and the U.S. are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood to avoid any further terrorist attacks,” former U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali said in a Friday phone interview on Sadah El Balad channel.
Ghali said the U.S.’s fear of the Brotherhood remained since the events of the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, stressing that “the U.S.’s support for the Brotherhood is based on their belief that their international organization is the authority that organizes crime and international terrorism throughout the world. Europe is convinced that signing an agreement with the Brotherhood is the the best way to achieve stability and eliminate radical Islamic movements.”
“Islamic and Christian extremists are the main reason of the failure of Egypt’s educational system,” he added, saying that Western governments sees Egypt as a developing nation because of its isolation.
The U.S.-Egypt relationship had strained following the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi. When mass protests took place in June calling on Morsi to step down, the Egyptian army, headed by former Minister of Defense Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, responded to the wishes of the Egyptian people and ousted Morsi on July 3.
Although the Obama administration did not formally describe what took place as a military coup, senior U.S. Senator John McCain did refer to it as such in August 2013, in a move separate from the administration’s policy.
Several countries accused the U.S. of pressuring the military council after it decided to withhold its military aid to Egypt in October 2013 due to the deliberations that took place in response to Morsi’s ousting.
Annual military aid to Egypt has been a staple of the U.S. foreign policy for over 30 years. The Egyptian government received $1.5 billion of combined military and economic assistance. However, Morsi’s ousting and the following forceful dispersal of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Squares led to tensions in the relations between both countries.
However, the full aid package to Egypt was conditionally unfrozen in January and the U.S. did not yet assign an ambassador to Egypt after former ambassador Anne Patterson was reportedly promoted as new Deputy Secretary of State.
On April 24, the Pentagon issued a statement saying that “the U.S. will be delivering ten Apache helicopters to Egypt” and said the decision has already been passed along to Cairo by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
“We believe these new helicopters will help the Egyptian government counter extremists’ attacks who threaten U.S., Egyptian, and Israeli security,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in statement.