The Straits Times
Published on Sep 14, 2012

Morsi walks tightrope as new Egypt emerges: Experts


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Amid growing anti-United States (US) protests, Egypt's new Islamist President Mohamed Morsi is walking a delicate tightrope, keen not to be seen as too pro-American by his people while keeping billions of dollars flowing from the West, analysts say.

US President Barack Obama acknowledged late on Wednesday that ties with the new Egypt were a "work in progress" and seemed to be signal a review of its status, by saying Cairo could neither be considered an ally nor an enemy.

But the White House moved on Thursday to downplay any idea of a policy shift, saying "ally is a legal term" and stressing "Egypt is a long-standing and close partner of the United States."

Washington, which pumps US$1.3 billion (S$1.59 billion) in military aid to Cairo every year and is reported to be weighing a deal to relieve US$1 billion worth of debt, is keeping a watchful eye on Egypt's new rulers.