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>> The Cairo government striking back at the Trump Administration Wednesday, cancelling a planned meeting between President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Egypt's foreign minister, after the U.S. decided to withhold millions of dollars in aid. Two sources telling Reuters the bombshell decision to withhold $290,000 in aid, exclusively reported by Reuters, reflecting a deep frustration with Cairo's stance on civil liberties.
Arshad Muhammed has the story.>> Egypt, in late May allowed a law to come into force that is widely criticized as cracking down very severely on NGOs, Non-Governmental Organizations. The adminstration feels like it had to do something to signal it's displeasure with Egypt, and so that's what ultimately brought about this decision.
>> The move by Trump coming as a surprise after President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was given the royal treatment at the White House in April. Sparking criticism that Trump was coddling authoritarian leaders. Egypt is a key partner for the US, due to its border with Israel and control of the Suez Canal.
The government is required by law to withhold aid if Cairo back peddles on human rights.>> The Administration is kinda trying to have it both ways. They can't certify that Egypt is making progress on Democracy and human rights. They still issued the national security waiver, that would allow the money to go forward, but they're taking that money and they're sticking it in a bank account.
They're basically telling the Egyptians, you've got to do better on these things and maybe you can get this money. But until you do better you're not gonna get the money.>> Sisi is accused by activists of erasing freedoms won during the 2011 Arab Spring, that ended the 30 year iron rule of Hazzni Mubarak.
In 2013, Sisi, then a general, led a military coup against elected president Muhammad Morsi.