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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced hope Monday that Egypt and the US will resolve an ongoing dispute over foreign NGOs operating in Egypt, which has flared up since the Egyptian government brought criminal charges against several NGO workers, including Americans, earlier this month.
The Cairo Appeals Court has set 26 February as the date to begin trying the 43 multinational NGO workers, who are accused of illegally accepting funds from foreign governments and stirring up anti-government unrest in the country.
Following a G20 conference of major economies in Mexico, Clinton said the US is “deeply concerned” about the current situation.
“We’ve had a senior team in Cairo in recent days trying to work through the issues so that they can be resolved as soon as possible,” she told reporters after the conference. “I think it’s probably better just to continue the hard work of our engagement and hope that we’ll see a resolution soon."
Clinton’s statements coincide with Republican US Senator John McCain’s visit to Cairo. During his visit, McCain, who heads the International Republican Institute — one of the organizations named in the Egyptian authorities’ investigations — met with Egypt's military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.
After the meeting, the senator told reporters he received assurances that Egyptian authorities are working “diligently” to end the crisis, which has strained relations between the two countries.