Minister: Egypt to phase out foreign aid in 10 years

In a press conference Wednesday, International Cooperation Minister Fayza Abul Naga announced that Egypt intended to phase out foreign financial assistance within the next decade and replace it with foreign loans when necessary. "We can do this if we achieve our targeted growth rates for this period, " she said.

Egypt, the minister noted, had requested that the US allocate the lion’s share of future assistance to Egypt to scientific- and technological-exchange programs. She went on to point out that the previous administration in Washington had reduced US aid to Egypt from US$415 million to US$200 million, which the current administration re-raised to US$250 million.

Asked at the press conference about the Israeli presence in countries of the Nile Basin, Abul Naga said: "We shouldn’t be worried with this so long as we continue to support our strategic dimension in Africa." She went on to note that Egypt had recently "moved to bolster its economic relations with Ethiopia in order to achieve this strategic dimension."

On the issue of the vast quantities of unexploded land mines that remain buried in the sands of Egypt’s North Coast, the minister explained that private-sector investment in the area had been suspended until the problem was resolved.

"Even if private investors say they will undertake this responsibility, the armed forces are the only ones who can do the job efficiently," she said, asserting that Egypt would continue to pressure the governments of the UK, Germany and Italy to help remove the mines originally planted during the Second World War.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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