Trump to ‘consider’ resuming military aid to Egypt

NEW YORK — US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signaled 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 Abdel Fattah el-Sissi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Egypt had been furious over the US decision to freeze $195 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 Mohamed Morsi and the subsequent bloody crackdown on Morsi’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.

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