Egypt’s leader, US envoy meet after cut in American aid

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News
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Egypt’s president and foreign minister met with White House adviser Jared Kushner on Wednesday, just hours after the Trump administration cut or delayed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Cairo over human rights concerns.

Kushner, who is also President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, was in Cairo as part of a Middle East tour aimed at exploring ways to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which last collapsed in 2014.

A modified version of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s schedule had earlier showed the meeting with Kushner cancelled, which was widely seen as a snub in protest at the aid cuts.

But Shoukry later sat in on Kushner’s meeting with President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and met with the American delegation separately at the Foreign Ministry.

Kushner’s delegation includes Jason Greenblatt, the US envoy for international negotiations, and Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser.

The Trump administration on Tuesday cut nearly $100m in military and economic aid to Egypt and delayed almost $200m more in military financing, citing Egypt’s poor human rights record and its crackdown on civic and other non-governmental groups.

The move came as a surprise to many, given the close ties forged since Trump took office. The US president has repeatedly hailed al-Sisi as a key ally in the fight against terrorism.

In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Cairo regretted the US decision, calling it a “misjudgment of the nature of the strategic relations that have bound the two countries for decades.”

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