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Pelosi: Egyptian NGO crisis a ‘bump in the road’

Meeting with Egyptian officials in Cairo Thursday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) characterized the recent showdown over Egypt’s prosecution of more than a dozen American NGO workers as a "bump in the road" that would not derail the two countries’ longstanding ties. "The U.S.-Egypt relationship is an important one I believe to both our ...

Democratic Leader's Office
Democratic Leader's Office
Democratic Leader's Office

Meeting with Egyptian officials in Cairo Thursday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) characterized the recent showdown over Egypt's prosecution of more than a dozen American NGO workers as a "bump in the road" that would not derail the two countries' longstanding ties.

"The U.S.-Egypt relationship is an important one I believe to both our countries, I know to the U.S.," Pelosi said following her meeting with Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister Wafaa Bassim. "We have always had a relationship with the people of Egypt and we hope to continue that in a very important way. The strength of Egypt, its stability, is important to the region and to world, and we want to be helpful in that regard."

Meeting with Egyptian officials in Cairo Thursday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) characterized the recent showdown over Egypt’s prosecution of more than a dozen American NGO workers as a "bump in the road" that would not derail the two countries’ longstanding ties.

"The U.S.-Egypt relationship is an important one I believe to both our countries, I know to the U.S.," Pelosi said following her meeting with Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister Wafaa Bassim. "We have always had a relationship with the people of Egypt and we hope to continue that in a very important way. The strength of Egypt, its stability, is important to the region and to world, and we want to be helpful in that regard."

The other lawmakers on Pelosi’s delegation are Reps. George Miller (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Nick Rahall (D-WV), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Keith Ellison (D-MN).

Later Thursday, Pelosi and her delegation met with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which temporarily holds executive power in Egypt. Pelosi’s delegation arrived in Cairo Wednesday evening and her office said she also will meet with civil society and religious minority leaders.

The State Department is getting ready to make a decision on whether or not to certify that Egypt is proceeding toward democracy at a pace that would allow the United States to continue its $1.5 billion in annual aid. Some human rights groups are urging the administration to restrict parts of that aid for units of the Egyptian military that are responsible for human rights violations.

Pelosi’s office said that Tantawi "confirmed to the leader [Pelosi] and delegation that once the presidential election is complete there will be a transition to civilian government."

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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