Dennis Ross: U.S. Must Halt Aid to Egypt if It Continues to Violate Treaty With Israel

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, former U.S. envoy to the Middle East calls on the U.S. administration to require new Egyptian government to obey human rights, international obligations.

Former U.S. envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross called Monday on the U.S. administration to reconsider supporting Egypt financially if the country continues to violate the peace treaty signed with Israel in 1979.

In an op-ed entitled "Egypt's new leaders must accept reality" published in the Washington Post, Ross, who also served as a National Security Council senior adviser on the Middle East in the Barack Obama administration, used harsh words to criticize the new Egypt government under President Morsi.

The newly elected president and the Egyptian people, Ross says, must understand that the U.S. is ready to assist in mobilizing the international community and financial institutions around the world to offer Egypt with assistance, but only if the Egyptian government is prepared to obey certain rules and conditions.

Conditions mentioned by Ross include the respect of minority and women's rights, acceptance of political pluralism and the recognition of their international obligations, one of which is the peace treaty signed with Israel.

"The record to date is not good," Ross writes when reviewing recent media reports from Egypt. The former envoy to the Middle East noted that one-hundred thousand Coptic Christians were reported to have left Egypt, efforts to intimidate the media have made and that Morsi has ordered to bring armored forces into the Sinai peninsula without notifying Israel, as required by the peace treaty.

Ross conclusion is that the U.S. administration should inform Egypt decisively that in order to receive American or international financial support, it must change its ways, adding that "softening or fuzzing our response at this point might be good for the Muslim Brotherhood, but it won’t be good for Egypt."

Quoted an Egyptian military official on Monday, Reuters reported that Egypt continues to send forces into Sinai aimed at fighting terrorists. The military operation began after 16 Egyptian border guards were killed by militants on August 5.