Officials said the military regime has warned the administration of
President Barack Obama that Washington's offer to NGOs violates Egyptian
They said the military leadership, which ordered an investigation of U.S.
aid, views the administration effort as a means to undermine the government
in wake of the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
The tension was said to have stemmed from advertisements placed by the
U.S. Agency for International Development in March that invited NGOs to
apply for American funds. Washington was said to have allocated more than
$10 million to a series of Egyptian groups deemed pro-democracy. Egypt has
already been receiving $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid.
The State Department offer sparked an Egyptian investigation of NGOs
believed to have received the U.S. funds. Two of them were identified as the
April 6 Movement and Kefaya, both of which played a major role in the
protests that ousted Mubarak in February.
On Aug. 11, the tension between Cairo and Washington led to the transfer
of the director of the U.S. Agency for International Development in Egypt.
Jim Bever, the director, was recalled to Washington a day after the State
Department criticized the military regime in Cairo for encouraging
"He will be returning to Washington to take on new responsibilities and
prepare for his next deployment," a U.S. embassy statement said.
The regime has also been investigating journalists deemed independent on
their source of income. Officials have acknowledged a military crackdown on
media outlets and journalists who report news unfavorable to the
The state-owned Egyptian media have also been attacking U.S. policy
toward Egypt. One magazine called U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson, who
arrived on Aug. 1, "the ambassador from hell."
"With regard to this kind of anti-Americanism that's creeping into the
Egyptian public discourse, we are concerned," State Department spokeswoman
Victoria Nuland said.
"We have expressed these concerns to the Egyptian
government. We think this kind of representation of the United States is not
only inaccurate. It's unfair. We are very strong supporters of Egypt's
transition to a democratic future, and we will continue to be there for