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Obama: Sisi is taking Egypt away from democracy

The US administration has criticised the Egyptian regime accusing military President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi of moving the country away from democracy, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

In a report secretly submitted to Congress on 12 May, the administration accused Al-Sisi’s regime of “stifling freedom of expression, arresting thousands for political dissent and failing to hold the security forces accountable for arbitrary or unlawful killings.”

The report concluded: “Egypt is nevertheless too important to national security to end the roughly $1.5 billion a year it receives in American aid, most of it military.”

The newspaper said that the “the report captures the awkwardness of Washington’s rapidly shifting views of Egypt: first backing President Mubarak, then the 2011 revolt that ousted him, and now rebuilding ties with a new strongman, President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi.”

David Kirkpatrick, NYT chief in Cairo, said: “Western diplomats are increasingly seeking to make the best of their relationship with Mr Sisi, the former general who led a military takeover here two years ago, deposing the elected president, even amid reports that his government is tightening its crackdown on dissent.”

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