Egypt: EU 'support package' agreed
The European Union has approved a five billion euro ($6.3 billion) 'support package' to Egypt over a two year period to be disbursed through the EU's finance institutions, the Egyptian presidency announced on Wednesday.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will each provide 2 billion euros ($2.54 billion), according to the presidency announcement.
The remaining one billion euros will granted through the bilateral support Egypt receives from various European countries.
The announcement came after a Cairo meeting between Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on Wednesday morning.
Ashton arrived in Egypt along with a high level EU delegation to attend a scheduled meeting of the EU-Egypt taskforce on 13-14 November. The meeting was called for by president Morsi during his September visit to Brussels.
Last September, following Morsi's meeting with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, the EU offered Egypt economic aid of up to 700 million euros (some $902 million).
That aid, however, was said to be conditional on the country's reaching agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Egypt is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with the fund for a $4.5 billion loan by the end of this week.