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US considers resuming Egypt military aid: Trump

US president meets Egypt's Al Sissi on sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York

Image Credit: AP
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, September 20, 2017, in New York.

New York: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signalled he would consider resuming military aid to Egypt which had been frozen because of concerns over its human rights record.

“We’re going to certainly consider it,” Trump said as he met President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Egypt had been furious over the US decision to freeze $195 million (Dh716 million) in military aid in response to Egypt’s poor record on democracy and civil liberties.

The decision, made earlier this year, came as a surprise because Trump had pledge strong ties with the key US ally after they deteriorated under Barack Obama.

Egypt is seen as a key partner in the Middle East, with influence over crises in Libya, Israel and the Palestinians, and the broader region.

But that relationship has been tested since the July 2013 overthrow of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi and the subsequent bloody crackdown on Mursi’s supporters.

That has been followed by a much tighter grip on non-governmental groups and the military government’s critics.

“The relationship is very good,” Trump said Wednesday.