Egypt Independent

US says Egypt stalemate on NGOs ‘unacceptable’

Egypt's failure to resolve a stand-off over US-backed non-governmental organizations was "unacceptable" and blamed holdovers from the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak for the crackdown, the United States on said Tuesday.

"We had been assured by leaders within the Egyptian government that this issue would be resolved… it is frankly unacceptable to us that that situation has not been returned to normal," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Nuland said it appeared Egypt's crackdown on pro-democracy NGOs was driven by "Mubarak hold-overs who don't understand how these organizations operate in a democratic society."

Last week, police raided more than a dozen offices of local and foreign rights groups as part of a probe into alleged illicit foreign funding. Two US rights groups — the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) — were targeted in the operation.

On Monday, US Ambassador Anne Patterson met with Justice Minister Adel Abdel Hamid for discussions on recent raids on the offices of Egyptian civil society groups. According to a judicial source, who spoke to Al-Masry Al-Youm on condition of anonymity, the meeting took place at Patterson's request.