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Egypt Criticizes US Decision to Cut Aid | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An American flag is seen behind an Egyptian flag in Westwood, California, January 29, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Cairo- The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has denied prior knowledge of the US administration’s decision to cut aid to Egypt.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abo Zaid said that Cairo was notified only hours before the decision’s announcement.

Washington decided earlier to cut USD95.7 million of aid provided to Egypt and withhold USD195 million. US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert stated on Wednesday that the Egyptian side had prior knowledge of this step.

US State Department officials said that the decision attributes to the Egyptian government’s failure to achieve any progress in respecting human rights and democracy. But The Egyptian side hinted that this decision would have consequences on Egyptian-US ties.

The Egyptian Ministry announced that the decision “reflects misappreciation of the strategic ties between the two countries throughout decades, and following an approach that lacks accurate understanding of how important it is to support Egypt’s stability not to mention the huge economic and security challenges facing Egyptians.”

This might lead to consequences on the joint interests, added the ministry.

Abo Zaid said that Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received a phone call from his American counterpart Rex Tillerson on the evening of Tuesday August 22, while he was in Vilnius Airport of Lithuania returning to Cairo.

The Trump administration decided to reprogram military aid to Egypt worth USD65.7 million starting from fiscal year 2014.