Egyptian-American release came after 'no deal,' Trump says

Dora Pope
April 29, 2017

An American imprisoned in Egypt for the past three years has just returned home, thanks in large part to Donald Trump's warm relationship with Egypt's brutal dictator President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer confirmed Friday that Trump had discussed Hijazi's release with Sissi during the Egyptian leader's visit to the White House in early April.

Aya Hijazi, 30, and her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, an Egyptian, arrived in the Washington area, according to The Washington Post, which was first to report they'd arrived. Egyptian authorities accused them of abusing children in their care and engaging in human trafficking, kidnapping, sexual exploitation and torture.

Flashback: Hijazi, her husband, and four other humanitarian workers were held on child abuse and trafficking charges that were broadly dismissed as bogus by human rights workers and USA officials. She founded Belady, a non-governmental organization that promotes a better life for street children.

The release came as US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Powell visited Egypt and met with President Sisi and a number of other Egyptian officials.

US President Donald Trump has published a video on his official Twitter account welcoming home Egyptian-American Aya Hijazi.

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At that meeting, Trump described the el-Sisi's leadership as "fantastic" and offered the US government's "strong backing".

"The new administration doesn't care about human rights abuses in Egypt - unlike its predecessor - which has put Sisi at ease to finally solve the Hijazi case", the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.

Sisi stressed "the strength of Egyptian-American relations and its resilience to numerous hard challenges during the past years", according to a statement released by Egyptian presidency.

Trump, however, has set aside criticism of Sisi's human rights record while pledging to maintain support for the key United States ally which receives an annual $1.3 billion in military aid.

"We are very happy to have Aya back", Trump said in the Oval Office as he greeted her and her family.

According to the Post, "The Obama administration unsuccessfully pressed Sissi's government for their release".

Other reports by My Hot News

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