World Bulletin / News Desk
The Obama administration hopes to go to Congress soon with a plan for using $1 billion in debt relief to help Egypt stabilize its economy and expand its private sector, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Friday.
"My hope would be is that we would go to the Congress very shortly with a framework of how we recommend that this money be allocated," U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides told reporters during a conference call to discuss goals for a U.S. business delegation headed to Egypt this weekend.
President Barack Obama promised in May 2011 a $1 billion debt relief package for Egypt. Following Egypt's first free elections, which brought new president Mohamed Mursi to power in June, the United States has started detailed discussions with Egyptian officials on how the money would be used.
"We're still in those discussions. I think we're getting close to finalizing it. Obviously the Congress has to approve what we're doing and we're consulting with both Republicans and Democrats and there's really, quite frankly, bipartisan support for this," Nides said.
The United States is also working very closely with international partners, including the International Monetary Fund, on a broader economic stabilization package, he said.