US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday rewarded Egypt for president Mohammed Morsi’s pledges of political and economic reforms by releasing $250m in American aid to support the country’s “future as a democracy”.
Yet Kerry also served notice that the Obama administration will keep close watch on how Morsi, who came to power in June as Egypt’s first freely elected president, honors his commitment and that additional assistance would depend on it.
“The path to that future has clearly been difficult and much work remains,” Kerry said in a statement after wrapping up two days of meetings in Egypt, a deeply divided country in the wake of the revolution that ousted longtime president Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt is trying to meet conditions to close on a $4.8bn loan package from the International Monetary Fund. An agreement would unlock more of the $1bn in US assistance promised by President Barack Obama last year and set to begin flowing with Kerry’s announcement.