Looming Iraq war fuels Egyptian push for free trade pact with US
A high-profile Egyptian delegation arrived in Washington last week to appeal for additional American aid ahead of a showdown with Iraq and press for a bilateral free-trade accord, reported the Washington Post.
The second largest recipient of US economic and military assistance, after Israel, Egypt is already scheduled to receive $1.3 billion from the Bush administration in 2003 and the same amount again the following year.
Egypt has been pushing for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US since the 1980s. Since then, Washington concluded such deals with Israel and Jordan, while a deal with Egypt has been resisted. Preliminary FTA negotiations have recently been started with Morocco.
Israel and Turkey, potential contributors to the American war effort, have also made aid requests on the US over the past months. Israel requested some two billion dollars in military equipment and $10 billion in loan guarantees, while Turkey filed a request for $14 billion. Jordan is expecting a delivery of F-16 fighter planes. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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