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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Washington still deliberating cuts in aid package to Cairo: Egypt foreign ministry

Ayat Al Tawy , Thursday 7 Sep 2017
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The U.S. Capitol Building is seen shortly before sunset in Washington, U.S. May 17, 2017 (Photo: Reuters)
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The Egyptian foreign ministry said on Thursday that the US is still discussing whether it will be introducing cuts to its financial aid package to Cairo for the fiscal year 2018.

"The United States Congress is still in internal deliberations between the House of Representatives and the Senate on an external appropriations bill for the 2018 budget," Egypt's foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement.

Abu Zeid said a House of Representatives' subcommittee on foreign operations passed the bill without reducing aid to Cairo, though a Senate committee demanded that cuts be introduced to the assistance programme.

"No final decisions have been taken in this regard," Abu Zeid added.

Egypt receives approximately $1.3 billion in US military aid yearly, as well as an annual economic assistance package, which amounted to $150 million in 2016.

The US said last month it would withhold part of its aid to Cairo, saying $195 million would be held in reserve until the US "can see progress on democracy" in Egypt.

In response, Cairo said the move is not in line with the strategic relations between Egypt and the US, and that cuts could have “negative repercussions” in achieving the common interests of the two countries.

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