US worries about Egyptian relations with North Korea: US Department of State spokesperson

In the ongoing discussion on Egyptian-American relations, media reports mentioned the recent cut in US aid to Egypt could be due, in part, to Egypt’s ongoing relationship with North Korea. US Department of State official spokesperson, Heather Nauert, said that the US stressed to Egypt the ‘necessity’ to isolate North Korea.

According to CNN, Nauert’s statements came during a press briefing held with number of journalists, who raised questions on a recent report in the Washington Post which asserted that Egypt’s diplomatic relations with North Korea is the reason behind the recent cuts.

On Wednesday, Egypt expressed its disappointment on the decision by the United States to deny $95.7 million in aid to the country and to further delay $195 million, adding that it may have a negative impact on common interests, according to a statement by Egypt’s Foreign Ministry.

The decision to reduce “some components of the economic portion [of US aid]” and to “postpone the disbursement of some military components” reflects a “misjudgment about the nature of strategic relations” which have bound the two countries for two decades, the statement read.

According to Reuters, the US decision to cut aid came as a response to Egypt’s failure to achieve any progress on human rights issues and democratic norms.

The official spokesperson of the US Department of State, Heather Nauert, responded to questions on the cut by saying that the US has expressed, on a regular basis, concerns over human rights conditions in Egypt.

She added that the US government has engaged in direct communication with the Egyptian government and other countries’ governments to stress the necessity of suspending any relations with North Korea.

“Any country that has diplomatic relations with North Korea should be aware that its relations are contributing effectively in facilitating the arrival of finance to the nuclear projects that are being conducted by North korea” she said during the press conference.

Moreover, she noted that diplomatic relations between US’s allies such as Egypt and North Korea presents a great source of concern to the international community and US.

“We have strong relations with Egypt, but we consider North Korea a great source of concern to the United States of America” she concluded.