Washington committed to supporting Egypt through aid programme: Pompeo to FM Shoukry

Ahram Online , Wednesday 25 Jul 2018

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo:AFP)

Washington is committed to providing political and economic support for Cairo, especially through its aid programme, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry in a phone call late on Tuesday, according to statement by Egypt's foreign ministry.

Pompeo stressed "the US' keenness to strengthen its strategic relationship with Egypt and its commitment to providing political, economic and development support to the country through the existing mechanisms of cooperation between the two nations, including the US economic and military aid programme," the statement read.

Pompeo said that this is meant to "strengthen the Egyptian capabilities in the face of security challenges and the bolster regional stability."

Pompeo also pledged greater US support to Egypt in the near future as well as "moving towards removing any obstacles in this regard."

A source told Ahram Online on Wednesday that Washington is planning to release some military aid to Cairo – which was suspended last year – following talks with an Egyptian military delegation that is currently visiting Washington.

Washington decided in August 2017 to withhold $195 million in military aid on the basis that it could not certify that Egypt had made sufficient progress on human rights and democracy, saying that another $95 million in aid would be spent elsewhere in the region.

"The US Senate Appropriations Committee will release the suspended $195 million in military aid soon," the source told Ahram Online.

During the phone call, Pompeo told Shoukry he was looking forward to receiving him in Washington in the first week of August to discuss bolstering bilateral ties and addressing regional and international issues of mutual interests.

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