US State Dept Seeks to Unblock $450 mn for Egypt

US State Dept Seeks to Unblock $450 mn for Egypt

The US State Department said Monday it would work with Congress to try to unblock some $450 million in economic aid for Egypt, after a lawmaker froze the funds.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirmed the US administration had asked Congress to free up the money in two tranches to support the government in Cairo.

But she said there were “concerns” about the plan amid rocky ties between the United States and Egypt, under its new Islamist leader, President Mohamed Morsi.

The money is part of a billion dollars in extra support pledged to Egypt by President Barack Obama last year. It is separate from $1.3 billion in military funding which Washington already provides to Cairo.

Republican congresswoman Kay Granger, who chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Relations, on Friday put a “hold” on the application, meaning it could be held up indefinitely.

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