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FM Shoukry discusses increasing US aid to Egypt during Washington meetings

Ahram Online , Sunday 4 Dec 2016
Sameh Shoukry
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, left, listens as Secretary of State John Kerry speaks after signing a memorandum of understanding on cultural property protection, at the State Department, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 in Washington. (AP)
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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Sunday that he has been discussing increasing US aid to Egypt with American lawmakers during his trip to Washington.
The minister said that US aid throughout consecutive administrations represented a great support for Egypt's development efforts, especially with the country's "current role in fighting terrorism and maintaining stability in the region."
Shoukry also stated that his current visit aimed to form an initial contact between Egypt and the newly elected administration in the United States.
US military aid to Egypt, worth $1.3 billion annually, was halted in 2013 following Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, with the US voicing concerns over Egypt's human rights record. The aid resumed in 2015.
Egypt's foreign minister began his visit to the United States on Tuesday, where he met with Secretary of State John Kerry, Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan and John McCain, Chairman of the House of Representatives’ armed services committee
He also met Wednesday with Vice President-elect Mike Pence to relay a verbal message from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
Shoukry is the first Arab official to meet with the vice president-elect.
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