Monday, July 29, 2013

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Featured on Press TV's The Debate: 'Egypt Army Gets Direct US Foreign Aid'

Egypt army gets direct US foreign aid: Analyst

Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:1AM GMT

Interview with Abayomi Azikiwe

To watch this Press TV The Debate program featuring Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, just click on the website below:

The United States has invested tens of billions of dollars over the last three and a half decades. They get 1.5 billion dollars per annum, the second largest recipient of US direct foreign assistance only next to the state of Israel.

The US has strategic interests in Egypt, the military has business and economic interests within the national economy of Egypt and it is obvious to anyone that the US is clearly supporting the actions that have been carried out by the military.’

Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News wire, from Detroit, over the ongoing clashes during rival demonstrations in Egypt.

What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Do you agree with our guest there, Mostafa Ragab, especially the part where he says the army did actually offer talks but the Muslim Brotherhood in essence backed out, because they did have a precondition for [ousted Egyptian President Mohamed] Morsi to be reinstated?

Azikiwe: I believe that the supporters of the Freedom and Justice Party and the Muslim Brotherhood at this stage cannot sit down with the military leadership and the appointed interim governing council because they have imprisoned the former president who was ousted by the military on July 3.

They are claiming that they have the popular support of the people in Egypt, maybe a section of the people in Egypt support them at this stage of the conflict.

We do not know exactly how long that support is gong to last. I believe that they are going to have a serious problem in regard to bringing about stability inside the country when in fact they have brought all of these charges against the ousted President Mohamed Morsi saying that he was involved in a prison break over two years ago, during a period in which the country was in an upheaval demanding the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

They are also trying to link the former president with Hamas. Of course Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have had long fraternal relationships, but Hamas is a resistance movement against the state of Israel.

It seems very ironic that here we have a new government in Egypt that is accusing the ousted government of having ties with the resistance movement that has been on the front line against the state of Israel.

It is going to be very difficult for them to stabilize the situation inside the country when you have an atmosphere that is not conducive to talks and where you have a situation where the former president, top leaders of his organization, being arrested, they are being charged .....for crimes that they claimed they committed, when in fact this man was the head of the state in Egypt for the whole year now, irrespective of what we may have thought about the policies of President Morsi and the Freedom and Justice Party.

They were elected by the people of Egypt and to oust them clearly cannot be justified on the basis of security or democratic practice.

So I believe that there is going to be ,more conflict inside the country and despite the fact that it appears at this point that certain liberal elements and social democrats are supporting General [Abdel-Fattah] al-Sisi.

We do not know exactly how long that is going to last as the military cannot deliver which they did not deliver in the aftermath of the overthrow of Mubarak. There is going to be more unrest. This alliance that exist now there are already cracks in the alliance and it is going to be even more fractured in the not too distant future.

Press TV: Of course we are looking at the Western back the military financially, the US being a large contributor to the finances in the billions, USD 250 million to go to the Egyptian government.

I am wondering, you know, this al-Sisi, whether he is contacted the US and gotten a green light to go ahead in terms of an action plan. I am looking at an action plan here that al-Sisi is going through.

Do you think that is the case that the US is giving a green light into move forward the way he is?

Azikiwe: It definitely appears to be the case. Even on July 3 and leading up to July 3, there were extensive discussions between the Secretary of Defense of the US Chuck Hagel and leading officials of the Egyptian military, then of course the coup occurred on July 3.

Even though there were people on streets in Egypt, it was not the people who stormed President Morsi’s offices; it was not the people who took him into detention; it was not the people who totally violated his authority.

Obviously he did not have the support of the military and the police. They refused to follow his orders and they carried out a military coup d'├ętat.

The United States has invested tens of billions of dollars over the last three and a half decades. They get 1.5 billion dollars per annum, the second largest recipient of US direct foreign assistance only next to the state of Israel.

The US has strategic interests in Egypt, the military has business, economic interest within the national economy of Egypt and it is obvious to anyone that the US is clearly supporting the actions that have been carried out by the military.

They will not even describe these developments over the last three weeks as being a military coup. They are saying that it is not a military coup. In fact the envoy [US Deputy Secretary of State William] Burns held a briefing today with the US Congress and dictated that no we are not going to describe this is a military coup.

This actually opens the way for the continuation of the aid from the working people here in the United States to the Egyptian military and also will probably lead to the lifting of the transfer of the four F-16 fighter jets which have been temporarily put on hold. But of course if they say it is not a military coup, then of course they have rationale for continuing to supply this heavy equipment to the Egyptian military.

It is not going to be used against Israel, it is going to be used against the Egyptian people.

Press TV: In terms of outside interference, Abayomi Azikiwe, you have to talk about Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has been known before to go to discount the revolution, was not too happy that Mubarak was being ousted and here again we have some analysts saying that you know what, Arab governments, they do not really like the Muslim Brother that much, because of their influence, they want to neutralize it.

Do you think that Saudi Arabia has something to do with having a hand in what is going on, stirring the pot in Egypt?

Azikiwe: They have announced over the last few days, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab of Emirates (UAE),they were going to pledge USD 12 billion to the current regime in Egypt. This is clearly a sign of support.

The fact that the United States says it is going to continue assistance to the government and this is a government that has been suspended by the continental organization the African Union based in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, that represents 54 member states on the African continent, they have suspended Egypt pending the outcome of this political conflict.

They cannot support or recognize or seat a government that came to power via force of arms and this is what happened in Egypt on July 3.

The army were the ones who actually took the control of the president’s office, put all the cabinet members out of their offices, is continuing to detain the president and no one know where he is and now they are bringing charges against him, based on developments they claim that happened two and a half years ago or even before.

There has not been any effort on the part of the military leadership to try to allow President Morsi to leave, to release the top leaders of the Freedom and Justice Party and the Muslim Brotherhood...

Press TV: Looking at perhaps what to happen with Mubarak, Saudi Arabia
again is said to spearhead their GCC club, countries of Persian Gulf as the head, they suppress what happened in Yemen, they suppress what is happening in Bahrain, of course now we are seeing what has happened in Egypt.

Is it true that they want to turn this type of what they call Islamism against the countries that have given rights to through their people?

Azikiwe: Yes. Saudi Arabia has been a close ally of the United States and they of course have their own interests not only in Egypt but throughout the entire region.

They want to prevent any genuine people’s revolution from taking place. The people in Egypt need a government that can speak for the people. The military preempted that potential for popular revolution in Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood government under President Morsi considering the mass opposition that existed to his government would have had to have negotiated in a matter of days, at least in a matter of weeks.

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