US congress delegation against cutting Egypt aid: Report

Ahram Online , Thursday 7 Nov 2013

Following backlash against October aid suspension, Washington continues to take a more conciliatory tone vis-a-vis Egypt relations according to Reuters' Aswat Masriya

A US congressional delegation visiting Egypt stated that it was not in favor of Washington's decision to suspend military aid to Egypt, Reuters' Aswat Masriya reported on Thursday.

During a meeting with constitutional committee head and former presidential candidate Amr Moussa, the delegation said that the relationship between the US and Egypt is built on mutual cooperation and that the group is pushing for a different strategy vis-à-vis Egypt, sources told Aswat Masriya.

The delegation, led by Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chief Anne Marie Chotvacs, has been meeting with Egyptian officials since its arrival on Tuesday.

In October, Washington halted deliveries of large-scale military systems as well as $260 million in cash aid to the Egyptian military, amid concerns over the country's democratic transition and mounting violence following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

However, US Secretary of State John Kerry took a reassuring tone during his visit to Cairo this week, announcing that the US was satisfied with the transitional roadmap's implementation thus far.

In a press conference on Sunday, Kerry dismissed the significance of the October aid suspension, saying it played a small role in otherwise strong relations between both countries.

Washington has given an annual aid package of $1.5 billion to Cairo for over 30 years, $1.3 billion of which is in military aid.

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