World Bulletin / News Desk
A delegation of US congressmen, currently visiting Cairo, is slated to meet with Egyptian foreign and defense ministry officials later on Wednesday, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Delegation members – led by Anne Marie Chotvacs, head of the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee – and their Egyptian interlocutors are expected to discuss the sensitive issue of US financial and military assistance to Egypt.
The delegation's arrival comes shortly after a visit to Egypt by US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this week.
Speaking at a Sunday press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi, Kerry said there were signs that Egypt's army-installed government was ready to restore democracy.
The visit was Kerry's first to the country since the Egyptian army's July 3 ouster of elected President Mohamed Morsi – a move the latter's supporters describe as an illegitimate military coup.
Kerry's statements during his Egypt visit revealed a softening US position vis-à-vis Egypt's unelected military-backed government, which assumed power following Morsi's removal.
Relations between the longtime allies soured last month when Washington – citing Egypt's slow pace of democratic reform – decided to withhold some $260 million in military aid and suspend delivery of some military hardware.
A high-level diplomatic source said that this week's congressional visit aimed to improve bilateral relations, noting that visiting congressmen were mulling a fresh US aid package to be granted following a planned referendum in Egypt on constitutional amendments.
The source added that the US delegation would present a report to the US Congress on the situation in Egypt following Morsi's July 3 ouster.Last Mod: 06 Kasım 2013, 11:32