WASHINGTON (Nov. 2)
The State Department is submitting a recommendation to President Johnson for resumption of large-scale aid to Egypt, it was learned today.
President Johnson is expected to act favorably on the Department’s request which is based on an evaluation contending that the Nasser regime has displayed more peaceful and responsible tendencies. Estimates of the proposed aid involve as much as a half-billion dollars in surplus commodities, mainly food, over a three-year period.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo has stressed, according to official sources, that Egypt has halted direct aid to Congolese rebels, offered compensation for the burned U.S.I.A. library, and displayed a more responsible attitude toward neighboring states. The State Department has urged, despite Nasser’s denunciation this week of the American role in Viet Nam, that immediate steps be taken to initiate a new program favoring Egypt.
It is the State Department’s contention that such aid would facilitate a continued American presence in Cairo and provide leverage for American diplomacy. Another point made by the Department is that Nasser recently cased some restrictions on U.S. firms and should be rewarded.
The amount of aid suggested has not been specified. Official sources said the decision President Johnson will make in the near future is based on the policy concept involved rather than on any specific sum. President Johnson will approve the Department’s recommendations, according to official sources. However, aid may be resumed on reduced scale and subject to tighter terms.
The State Department is concerned that haste be made because Egyptian wheat supplies may be exhausted by the end of this year. Shipments under the $37,000,000 program, the remainder of the 1964-1965 program, are now at an end. This aid was shipped during the summer despite strong Congressional objections.