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U.S. Debates Aid to Egypt Amid Political Turmoil


Amid the rapidly changing political environment in Egypt, the U.S. is considering halting aid to the country.

Early Tuesday morning more arrests were made in the government crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood's spiritual leader, was among those arrested.

Another change, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been acquitted of corruption charges, and could be released from prison within the next few days. His replacement, Mohamed Morsi has been detained.

The turmoil in Egypt has lawmakers calling for President Obama to suspend aid to the country, but cutting off nearly $1.5 billion in annual support may not bring the change Washington is looking for.

On Monday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was asked if cutting aid to Egypt would help end the violence there.

"Our ability to influence the outcome is limited. It's up to the Egyptian people," Hagel said.

A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows 51-percent of Americans want to cut off aid to Egypt. 50-percent of those polled believe President Obama hasn't been tough enough toward the Egyptian military in response to the violence there.

Even if the U.S. does cut off support, Egypt may not lose a dime. Saudi Arabia said it will reimburse Egypt if western countries suspend their aid.


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