No opportunity for Morsy-Obama meeting in New York

President Mohamed Morsy is not planning to meet with US President Barack Obama during his trip to New York later this month for United Nations General Assembly meetings, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

However, Morsy is planning to meet with French President Francois Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron during the course of his trip.

A US official had told AFP on 8 July that Obama would meet with Morsy on the sidelines of the UN meeting.

Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said in a press statement today, however, that Obama would leave New York following his speech to the assembly as he is busy with his campaign for the upcoming presidential elections, and that the ministry would prepare another official visit for Morsy to meet with Obama in Washington at a later stage.

Amr denied that the US had made any formal threat to cancel their foreign aid to Egypt following the attacks on the US Embassy in Cairo in response to an anti-Islam film.

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called me and promised that she will do all that she can to ensure that Egypt gets the full aid package,” Amr said.

He added that the US Senate’s Committee on Appropriations met on Wednesday to discuss this matter. The US administration has clearly expressed its intention to give the full aid package to Egypt, despite attempts by Congress to lower the package, he said.

The Washington Post had claimed that the Egyptian authorities’ sluggishness in dispersing the demonstrations that took place on 11 September outside the US Embassy in Cairo led to the suspension of the negotiations to cancel Egypt’s US$1 billion debt to the US. Washington later confirmed that the negotiations are ongoing, however.

Egypt ranks second on the list of beneficiary countries of US foreign aid after Israel. It receives US$1.5 billion in aid every year.

Edited translation from AFP

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