The United States announced on Sunday that it would begin to release economic assistance packages to the Egyptian government in what is being reported as a “reward” to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and his “pledges” to reform the political and economic systems in the country.
Kerry said in a statement that the US would be releasing some $250 million in aid to the struggling country, despite concerns over Morsi’s crackdown and violence against opposition protesters across Egypt.
Despite the aid being released, Kerry said that the White House would remain vigilant in keeping a close eye on the happenings in Egypt, where a parliamentary election is to take place over the next two months. He said that Morsi must honor the commitments he has made to the Egyptian people following his election last summer.
“The path to that future has clearly been difficult and much work remains,” Kerry said in a statement after spending two days in Egypt, meeting with top government and business leaders.
His visit came as Egypt remains a deeply divided country in the wake of the January 2011 revolution that ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak and his aides are currently in jail for their crimes against the country, but are to receive a retrial in April.
Cairo is also hopeful of inking a $4.8 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help a bumbling economy that is facing massive budget deficits. If agreed, the loan deal could also see the unlocking of some $1 billion of American aid that Obama had promised last year.
“The United States can and wants to do more,” Kerry said. “Reaching an agreement with the IMF will require further effort on the part of the Egyptian government and broad support for reform by all Egyptians. When Egypt takes the difficult steps to strengthen its economy and build political unity and justice, we will work with our Congress at home on additional support.”