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Egypt Says US Aid Package is Part of Shared Strategic Ties

Egypt Says US Aid Package is Part of Shared Strategic Ties

Saturday, 28 July, 2018 - 12:45
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi speaks during a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus November 20, 2017.

Egypt viewed the US military aid package as an integral part to strategic relations between the two countries.

“Washington’s decision to resume military aid, which was frozen for a year, reflects the importance and specificity of relations between Egypt and the United States," State Department adviser Ahmed Abu Zeid said.

A senior Egyptian diplomat told Asharq Al-Awsat that Cairo had been informed of the decision to resume military aid worth $195 million, which the US had previously blocked due to concerns about Egypt's human rights record.

He explained that the decision was taken and pending procedural works for implementation. He also pointed out that things are moving in the right direction without any obstacles, in light of Washington's recognition of the importance of the Egyptian role in promoting stability of the Middle East.

A US State Department official said the administration of President Donald Trump had decided to allow Egypt to use $195 million in foreign military aid that were dedicated for 2016.

Abu Zeid explained that Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received a phone call from his American counterpart last Tuesday to inform him of the US administration's decision to lift the cut.

He added that this decision reflects the importance of the Egyptian-American relations, and also affirms the commitment made by Egypt and the United States to support and strengthen the ties.

On the dispute between the US administration and Congress, Abu Zeid explained that rebooting the aid package “is a right of the administration, and so long as a decision is taken, it is in force.”

Last year, the US denied military aid to Egypt citing its failure to make progress with respect for human rights and democratic reforms.

The decision partly reflected Washington's disappointment over a new law regulating the work of NGOs.

The latest US State Department report on human rights issued in April listed a wide range of human rights issues in Egypt, including torture, restrictions on freedom of expression, government control of NGOs and the military prosecution of civilians.

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