Trump says 'no deal' was made for charity worker
- Author: Megan Austin Apr 22, 2017,
Apr 22, 2017, 1:49
Trump had privately asked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to help out in the case when Sisi visited the White House on April 3, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Obama administration's petitions to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to release the prisoners were unsuccessful.
"We are very happy to have Aya back home, and it's a great honor to have her in the Oval Office", Trump said on Friday during the meeting at the White House.
US officials had unsuccessfully advocated for Aya Hijazi's release for years.
Two Republican US senators, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of SC, called on the Egyptian government to take more steps to improve human rights.
A military aide to Trump escorted Hijazi and her family back to Washington on a military plane, according to the administration official. -Egyptian citizen, is acquitted by an Egyptian court after almost three years of detention over accusations related to running a foundation dedicated to helping street children, Cairo, Sunday, April 16, 2017. Among those on the couches were Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter; Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law; and Dina Powell, a deputy national security adviser who traveled to Egypt this week.
Hijazi, 30, founded Belady, a non-governmental organization that promotes a better life for street children.
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Hijazi was detained for 33 months - far longer than the 24-month maximum allowed under Egyptian law that a person can be held for before trial.
The administration of former President Barack Obama had lobbied without success for Ms Hijazi's release, frustrating her family.
"I left Cairo very confident, very confident in the avenues we have to advance our military-to-military relationship, which has been a bedrock and has stood solid all these years", Mattis told reporters in Tel Aviv, without elaborating.
The case was seen by human rights groups as typical of authoritarian rule in Egypt under President Sisi, who assumed power in 2013.
A USA defense official said Mattis' meetings with Sisi and Egypt's defense minister had focused on building trust to allow for stronger military ties. He has labeled the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group and imprisoned thousands of university students.
The Trump administration has proposed massive cuts to USA foreign aid, but has signaled that Egypt will continue to receive its $1.3 billion worth of annual military aid.
Nevertheless, the Trump administration reset the US-Egypt friendship.