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Trump calls Egypt's Sisi, says keen to overcome obstacles

Trump calls Egypt's Sisi, says keen to overcome obstacles

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

United States President Donald Trump called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday (August 24) and said he was keen to overcome any obstacles in the way of cooperation, just days after the U.S. said it would withhold some financial aid to Egypt.

“President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi received a phone call tonight from U.S. President Donald Trump who affirmed the strength of the friendship between Egypt and the United States and expressed his keenness on continuing to develop the relationship and overcome any obstacles that might affect it,” Sisi’s office said in a statement late on Thursday.

On Tuesday (August 22), two U.S. sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Washington had decided to deny Egypt $95.7 million in aid and to delay a further $195 million because it had failed to make progress on respecting human rights and democracy.

Egypt, an important regional partner for the United States because of its control of the Suez Canal and its border with Israel, receives $1.3 billion in aid annually and was critical of the U.S. decision.