McCain says Egyptians tell him they're working to resolve crisis over NGOs

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Associated Press

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 20 at 1:35 PM

CAIRO (AP) — Sen. John McCain says Egyptian officials have told him they are working "diligently" to resolve a crisis that has brought relations between Cairo and Washington to their lowest point in decades.

After a day of meetings with officials in Egypt's capital, the Republican senator said the country's military rulers told him they are working to resolve a criminal case against pro-democracy groups that are based in the United States.

As part of a crackdown, Egyptian authorities have referred 16 Americans and 27 others to trial on charges that include the illegal use of foreign money. The trial is expected to begin next week.

McCain chairs one of the four American groups that have been targeted.

McCain is leading a congressional delegation visiting various countries in the Middle East and in Afghanistan.

He says threats to cut off U.S. aid to Egypt may be counterproductive. U.S. aid now includes an annual $1.3 billion to Egypt's military and about $250 million in economic aid.

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APPHOTO AMR104: U.S. Senator John McCain, R-Ariz, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, talks at the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Feb. 20, 2012. MacCain is scheduled to meet with Egypt's military leader, who took over after Mubarak was ousted last year. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil) (20 Feb 2012)

<<APPHOTO AMR104 (02/20/12)>>

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