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Germany summons Egypt ambassador over closing of German foundation in Cairo

The Friedrich-Naumann Foundation announced earlier this year that it was closing its office in Egypt over strict government restrictions

Ahram Online , AP , Thursday 12 May 2016
Badr Abdel Atty
A file Photo for Ambassador Badr Abdel-Ati (Photo: Ahram Online)
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The German foreign office summoned on Thursday the Egyptian ambassador to discuss the closure of a German foundation's office in Cairo earlier this year.

The foreign office said in a statement that State Secretary Markus Ederer discussed with ambassador Badr Abdel-Ati the possible reopening of the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation’s office, which is linked to the liberal Free Democrats Party.

The statement stressed that the German government will continue its support of the “important work” of German political foundations in Egypt with “appropriate measures.”

The statement also said the foundations "need to be able to do [their work] in an environment of increasing political pressure on civil society."

According to its official website, the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation “aims to promote the goal of making the principle of freedom valid for the dignity of all people and in all areas of society, both in Germany and abroad.”

The Friedrich-Naumann Foundation said on its website that it had moved its main office to Jordan in 2014, but kept a small office in Egypt, which was later closed.

The foundation announced in January that it was closing the Egypt office because of strict government restrictions.

Many international rights groups and NGOs have closed shop in Egypt over the past few years, citing growing government restrictions on their day-to-day operations.

This story has been edited by Ahram Online

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