Egypt’s long awaited deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has finally concluded in Cairo’s favour. The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s ruling party, will now be responsible for transparency over the $4.8 billion international loan. This loan is viewed by many as the “New Deal” offered to Cairo on behalf of the international community after the January 25 Revolution in Egypt.
The state infrastructure under former President Hosni Mubarak was crumbling from neglect, even during the best of times. Under Mubarak, people did not sense that there was any aid given to Egypt. Citizens were aware of agreements between Egypt and the U.S. however, the exact amount of U.S. aid was withheld from the Egyptian public for years.
Since 1979, the Egyptian government has received approximately $2 billion a year from the U.S. The Muslim Brotherhood is now tasked with repairing the Arab Republic of Egypt. The people do not expect to see the same financial follies, seen under Mubarak, to now plague the Ichwan (Muslim Brotherhood).
There seems to be great interest, internationally, to test the new Egyptian government. If President Mohammad Morsi can focus his party on remedying the country’s ailments, rather than supporting a war in Gaza, then there may be reason to believe Egypt is on a new path to restore its name in the region, and throughout the world.
However, if there is an interest by the Muslim Brotherhood to engage Israel, and others in the region, with military adventures in solidarity with Hamas, Egypt will be seen by the West as undermining itself. It will be isolating itself like Iran. A brazen move would certainly interrupt the support of the IMF loan. Egypt’s progress and IMF loan should not only be a symbolic reminder of how far Egypt has come, it should pave the way for the new government to redeem its people.