Obama Proposes Financial Support For Egypt

President Obama proposed financial support for Egypt in his speech at the State Department Thursday. Some people were uneasy with the financial nod Obama gave the military-led country with $1 billion in debt relief and $1 billion more in loan guarantees.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON: Im Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson in Cairo.

President BARACK OBAMA: Already we've become what...

Unidentified Woman: (Foreign language spoken)

NELSON: State television broadcast President Obamas speech live. Many tuning in welcomed him saying that the U.S. is shifting its approach from one of narrow self-interest. But they did so with reservation. Khaled Fahmy chairs the history department at the American University in Cairo.

Professor KHALED FAHMY (Chairman of History Department, American University in Cairo): I am sure you can realize that we in the region have heard this language before, many times, so we are skeptical as to how much he will actually deliver on that.

NELSON 3: Some people were also uneasy with the financial nod Obama gave Egypt with a billion dollars in debt relief and a billion more in loan guarantees.

Engineer Iman Shams, who watched the speech at a cafe near the Egyptian stock exchange, says its time for her people to chart their own course.

Ms. IMAN SHAMS (Engineer): I dont like taking money from any country. I am sorry. We are here to help yourself, here. Help yourself. Dont need any cash from any country!

NELSON: Money aside, she and others were not as enthused by this Obama speech as they were by the one he delivered here two years ago. Professor Fahmy says thats because Obama didnt spell out whether he will exert pressure on Egypts current military rulers.

Prof. FAHMY: So, just handing in money without speaking about this larger more complex relationship with the Egyptian military is problematic, and I think this is symptomatic of the speech at large.

NELSON: Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR News, Cairo

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.