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Egypt slams US decision to withhold aid

Egyptian American children wave flags protesting Egyptian President Abdulfettah el-Sisi's meetings with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, USA on April 3, 2017 [Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency]
Egyptian American children wave flags protesting Egyptian President Abdulfettah el-Sisi's meetings with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, USA on April 3, 2017 [Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency]

Egypt has criticised the recent US move to withhold $95.7 million in aid and to delay a further $195 million over concerns that Egypt has failed to progress on respecting human rights and democratic norms.

The decision came after Egyptian Prime Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi allowed a law to go into effect in May which limits NGO activity in the country after assuring US officials earlier this year that the law would not be passed.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the decision reflects ‘a poor judgment of the nature of strategic relations that tie the two countries over two decades’.

Read: US withholds $290 million aid package over Egypt’s dire human rights record

An important Middle Eastern ally to America, Egypt borders Israel and controls the Suez Canal, both strategic assets. Over the past 30 years, the US has provided nearly $80 billion to Egypt in the form of military and economic aid.

Egypt warned that the decision could have ‘a negative impact’ on common interests between the two countries.

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