Saudi Arabia says Arabs ready to cover cuts in Western aid to Egypt

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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said on Monday that Arab and Islamic nations will step in to help Egypt if Western countries cut their financial aid to Cairo over the a crackdown on Islamist loyalists of ousted President Mohammad Mursi.

“To those who have announced they are cutting their aid to Egypt, or threatening to do that, (we say that) Arab and Muslim nations are rich... and will not hesitate to help Egypt,” al-Faisal said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.

He was speaking upon his return from France, where he held talks with President Francois Hollande, who strongly condemned violence in Egypt.

Prince al-Faisal criticized Western condemnations of Egypt’s security crackdown against Islamists saying Egypt is fighting terrorism.

“All countries that take such negative attitudes toward Egypt should know that the blaze and ruin will not be limited to Egypt alone, but they will be reflected on all those who have contributed or stood by problems and disorders taking place in Egypt today,” Prince al-Faisal said.

“We will not consider those who ignore these facts and drift behind the flimsy propaganda and lies as a good faith or ignorance, but we will consider them as hostile attitudes against the interests of the Arab and Islamic nations and their stability,” Prince al-Faisal added.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the North African country since security forces began a clampdown on Muslim Brotherhood protests last week.

U.S. Senator John McCain called on Washington to suspend its $1.3 billion in annual aid to Egypt’s military after it overthrew Islamist President Mursi on July 3.

But some U.S. lawmakers have expressed concern that cutting off aid could endanger the peace treaty with Israel or compromise U.S. privileges with regard to the Suez Canal.

Foreign ministers of the European Union are to hold emergency talks on Wednesday to review the bloc’s relations with Cairo.

At stake is nearly five billion euros ($6.7 billion) in loans and grants promised by the world’s top aid donor to Egypt for 2012-2013. It includes one billion euros from the EU with the rest from European banks the EIB and EBRD, AFP reported.

(With AFP)

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