US Aid Chief Abruptly Leaves Egypt

Posted August 12th, 2011 at 2:20 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. official who oversaw distribution of Washington's aid to development programs in Egypt has abruptly left his post, amid criticism the United States has been improperly funding Egypt's pro-democracy groups.

Officials said Friday that the USAID director for Egypt, Jim Bever, had returned to Washington.

They denied his departure was a result of anti-American sentiment.

However, the departure comes a month after a high-ranking Egyptian official criticized Washington for funding non-governmental organizations without seeking Egyptian supervision. A member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Major General Mohammed al-Assar, called the issue a “matter of sovereignty.”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press quotes a U.S. embassy spokeswoman as saying the U.S. funding does not interfere with Egyptian politics. Elizabeth Colton on Thursday described the groups that had received U.S. funding as politically neutral.