Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry – File photo
CAIRO – 16 October 2017: The U.S. Congress finalized the decision to reduce the agreed sum of aid to Egypt, whether through the direct reduction of some components of the economic program, or postponing the disbursement of military aid, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry.
He added in an interview with ONTV that Egypt is in constant contact with the U.S. administration regarding the aid program; stressing "It is not a grant or gift from the United States to Egypt," and that Washington understands the importance of supporting Egypt’s stability.
The U.S. announced a decision in August to deny $95.7 million in grants and aid to Egypt, and to delay the disbursement of $195 million in military aid because of alleged human rights violations.
The Washington Post published a report earlier this month claiming that Egypt secretly imported more than 24,000 North Korean rocket-propelled grenades in violation of UN Security Council sanctions. Shoukry denied that the shipment was destined for Egyptian military.
Shoukry stressed that Egypt is a non-permanent member of the Security Council, and is committed to the council's resolutions. He noted that the Security Council delegates and investigators had participated in all the measures taken against the North Korean shipment until the sanctions committee issued its report on the case, denying that the shipment was destined for Egypt.
Regarding Egypt's relations with Turkey, the minister said that the two countries have commercial relations together and they should continue as long as there is no harm to Egyptian national security. He added that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi always insists that Egypt's foreign policies are based on mutual respect.
Speaking about Russian tourism, Shoukry pointed out that he is optimistic about the return of normal tourism rates thanks to the Egyptian people's sense of responsibility.
Finally, Shoukry revealed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ headquarters will be among the first government institutions transferred to the New Administrative Capital scheduled to be completed by 2019.