First Published: 2017-08-23

Cairo warns against US decision to withhold aid
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry says US decision to deny it $95.7 million in aid, to delay further $195 million could have negative impact.
Middle East Online

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri

CAIRO - Egypt expressed its regret on Wednesday over a United States decision to deny it $95.7 million in aid and to delay a further $195 million, adding that it may have a negative impact on common interests, its Foreign Ministry said.

Egypt called off a scheduled meeting between its foreign minister and top U.S. presidential adviser Jared Kushner on Wednesday after the US decided to withhold the funds.

But President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi would meet the U.S. delegation led by Kushner later in the day as scheduled, Sisi's office said.

"Egypt sees this measure as reflecting poor judgment of the strategic relationship that ties the two countries over long decades and as adopting a view that lacks an accurate understanding of the importance of supporting Egypt's stability," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The decision could have "negative implications" on achieving common goals and interests between the two countries, it added.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had been scheduled to meet the U.S. delegation led by Kushner, a son-in-law to U.S. President Donald Trump and a close adviser, on Wednesday in Cairo to discuss the Middle East.

But the meeting was cancelled immediately after the ministry released its statement, a copy of Shoukry's schedule sent out to journalists showed.

A foreign ministry official told Reuters the meeting had been cancelled but did not give a reason. A U.S. embassy official in Cairo said Kushner's meeting with Shoukry had never been set in stone because "the schedule was never fixed."

Two US sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday the decision came because of Egypt's failure to make progress on respecting human rights and democratic norms.

 

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