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Egypt protests US official’s aid remarks

Egypt on Sunday said it formally protested against recent remarks by US Department of State spokeswoman Marie Harf saying that Egypt used American military aid against its own people.

“Egypt’s embassy in Washington has delivered an official note of protest to the US Department of State to reject Harf’s remarks,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Ati said in a statement.

The protest note, Abdel-Ati said, called on the US Department of State to make sure that its spokespersons would “ensure that their remarks reflect the truth [on Egypt] in the future.”

Harf’s remarks “have nothing to do with reality,” he added.

On Friday, Harf was asked about why the US did not suspend its military aid to Israel against the background of its war on the Palestinians of Gaza as it did Egypt in 2013.

She said there is a big difference between Israel and Egypt, noting that Israel is using US military aid to fight a “terrorist” organization, namely the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

“In Egypt, you had a government cracking down on its own people,” Harf told reporters.

The remarks were slammed by Abdel-Ati on Saturday as “ignorant” and “lacking.”

“These statements express ignorance of the realities in Egypt,” he said in a statement.

Relations between Egypt and the US administration soured shortly after the Egyptian military moved to oust elected president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

The US then withheld part of its military and financial aid to Egypt, including the delivery of some important arms for the Egyptian army.

Report by Mohamed Wali for the Anadolu Agency

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