‘Working group on Egypt’ says cut off aid


WASHINGTON (JTA) — A "working group on Egypt" that includes prominent conservatives and liberals urged the Obama administration to cut assistance to Egypt if violence continues.

"Until unrestrained thug violence began on February 1, the Working Group was hopeful that the Egyptian military would play a positive role in safeguarding a peaceful transition," said the statement Thursday, which was first reported by Politico. "If the government continues to employ such violence, the United States should immediately freeze all military assistance to Egypt."

The "working group" includes Brian Katulis, a fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress think tank who has counseled the Obama administration on the Egypt crisis; Elliott Abrams, President George W. Bush’s most senior Israel policy figure who is now at the Council on Foreign Relations; and figures who have worked in Democratic and Republican administrations and are members of organizations that are supportive and critical of Israel.

The group was set up in February 2010 to advocate for U.S. pressure on Egypt to democratize.

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