Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry headed on Monday to Washington on a two-day visit, nearly two weeks after the US decided to restore the $195m in military aid to Egypt that was halted last year.
Shoukry is expected to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US National Security Advisor John R Bolton, and members of the US Chamber of Commerce.
The bilateral talks between Shoukry and Pompeo include discussing the US military and economic aid programme to Egypt, according to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry statement.
The ministry noted that updates of Egypt’s economic and social reform programme will also be addressed, as well as the state’s efforts in combating terrorism, especially the comprehensive military operation launched in February, known as Sinai 2018.
Regional and international issues of common interest, as well as enhancing cooperation and coordination concerning recent updates in the Middle East, will further be on the table.
In August last year, the US government halted $95.7m in aid to Egypt and delayed a further $195m of aid over “human rights and democracy concerns.” The decision sparked criticism by the Egyptian authorities.
Since signing the Camp David peace accords in 1979, the United States has provided Egypt with large amounts of military assistance, as Egypt since then became the most important ally to the US in the Arab world.
Between 1946 and 2016, the US has provided Egypt with $78.3bn in bilateral foreign aid. Over the past two decades, US economic aid to Egypt has been reduced by over 90%, from $833m in fiscal year (FY) 1998 to a request of $75m for FY 2019, according to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service.