Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kerry Releases Aid to Egypt Country Receives $250 Million for Economy after Visit with Morsi

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kerry Releases Aid to Egypt Country Receives $250 Million for Economy after Visit with Morsi

Article excerpt

CAIRO -- Secretary of State John Kerry released $250 million in badly needed economic assistance for Egypt on Sunday, telling the country's divided political classes that they must make economic and political overhauls to qualify for additional support.

"The United States can and wants to do more," Mr. Kerry said in a statement released to reporters shortly after his more than two- hour session with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. About an hour of their time was spent one on one, in what U.S. officials said would be blunt discussions of Egypt's tanking economy and political deadlock.

"When Egypt takes the difficult steps to strengthen its economy and build political unity and justice, we will work with our Congress at home on additional support," Mr. Kerry said. "These steps will also unlock much needed private-sector investment and broader financial assistance."

The State Department said Mr. Kerry's meeting with the Islamist leader also covered the crisis in Syria and prospects for Israeli- Palestinian peace. The chaotic domestic situation in Egypt has overtaken the traditional American agenda with Egypt, long its most- valued Arab ally and the linchpin of Arab-Israeli peace.

International investment and the revival of tourism, long the mainstay of the Egyptian economy, depend on a truce between Mr. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and secular moderates, and a reduction in street violence that has scared off foreigners.

That violence manifested itself Sunday in the Suez Canal port city of Port Said, where the military intervened in clashes between thousands of protesters and police, the latest in a cycle of violence that killed two security members and two civilians, and which continues to rock Egypt two years after the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak.

Also on Sunday, a court ruled that Mubarak will face a new trial next month on charges related to the killings of hundreds of protesters during the revolution that forced him from power. …

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