US Pledges to Boost Egypt\'s Economy
The United States is seeking to hasten new cooperation programs to help shore up Egypt's ailing economy, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday.
"We are aware that Egypt is having some financial and economic difficulty now (with) the drop in tourism and we are looking at ways that we can accelerate some of our economic cooperation and other programs," Powell said after meeting at the State Department with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher, as quoted by AFP.
"We want to be as responsive as we can."
The State Department said after a November 2 visit by Egyptian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Yousef Boutros-Ghali that it would boost efforts to help as Egypt struggles to cope with a decline in tourism due to terrorism fears.
One method of assistance is a US-Egypt free trade agreement, the department said then, without elaborating.
Ghali said at the time that “USA, Canada and the EU have agreed to allow more Egyptian exports to their markets and to give our goods the best status at these markets.”
He added at a press conference that he had signed a framework agreement with the American Minister of Economy in Washington to establish the Egyptian-American Presidential Council.
“Egypt has demanded a financial aid amounting to 5.2 billion dollars from the US. Washington promised to give the Egyptian exports special commercial advantages and agreed on beginning negotiations for the free trade agreement between the two countries,” said Ghali, adding that the US showed its readiness to help Egypt confront the consequences of September 11 attacks particularly in the economic and employment aspects – Albawaba.com
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