US Will Review Aid to Egypt

Obama has not spoken directly to Hosni Mubarak
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 28, 2011 2:58 PM CST
An Egyptian Army armored personnel carrier is surrounded by anti-government protesters near Tahrir square in downtown Cairo.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
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(Newser) – The US threatened today to reduce a $1.5 billion program of foreign aid to Egypt based on President Hosni Mubarak's response to swelling street protests in Cairo and other cities. "Violence is not the response" to the demands for greater freedoms, said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. President Obama had been briefed extensively about the fast-unfolding events but had not tried to speak with Mubarak by phone, he said.

The White House spokesman's repeated calls for the government of Egypt to abandon violence was the latest response along those lines by the Obama administration, struggling to keep abreast of a growing crisis inside a nation that has long been an ally in Middle East peace-making efforts, yet has long denied basic rights to its people. Earlier, Hillary Rodham Clinton said the government in Egypt should restore access to the Internet. "We are deeply concerned about the use of violence by Egyptian police and security forces against protesters, and we call on the Egyptian government to do everything in its power to restrain the security forces," she said.

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