Kerry: US to give Egypt US$190 mn

President Mohamed Morsy met with US Secretary of State John Kerry at Ettehadiya Palace in Cairo Sunday. The American official said the US would give Egypt US$190 million to support the government's budget, according to Reuters.

A presidential source who spoke to Anadolu news agency said Morsy and Kerry discussed the current situation in Egypt. Kerry conveyed President Barack Obama's support of the transition to democracy in Egypt.

Kerry also urged Morsy to reach a consensus with opposition powers and restore their confidence in order for Egypt to pass its current stage and achieve stability and development, the source said.

Several major opposition groups, led by the National Salvation Front, have announced a boycott of the upcoming parliamentary polls slated for 22 April, demanding more guarantees for transparent elections and the formation of a neutral government to supervise the election.

Morsy and Kerry also discussed how the US could support the Egyptian economy, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian and Syria conflicts.

So far, the presidency has not issued any official statements on the meeting.

Kerry is visiting Egypt as part of a tour that includes nine other countries. In Egypt, Kerry met with Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Arab League chief Nabil al-Araby and several Egyptian opposition figures, including Amr Moussa, a leader from the NSF.

“There must be a willingness on all sides to make meaningful compromises on the issues that matter most to the Egyptian people," AFP quoted Kerry as telling reporters after talks on Saturday with Amr.

A State Department official traveling with Kerry told reporters that he would also discuss anti-Semitic remarks Morsy made before he was president and has since backtracked from.

But "the primary goal here is to encourage his –– to encourage his work that he did with Israelis in getting the Gaza cease-fire," he said, of an Egyptian-mediated truce that ended eight days of fighting in November between Israel and Hamas.

Meeting some of Egypt's business leaders, Kerry stressed the importance of a $4.8 billion IMF loan, which is partly conditioned on a measure of agreement between the nation's divided factions.

"It is paramount, essential, urgent that the Egyptian economy gets stronger, that it gets back on its feet," he said. "It is clear to us that the IMF arrangement needs to be reached. So we need to give the marketplace the confidence.”

Kerry also held a closed meeting Sunday afternoon with the head of the General Intelligence Services, Mohamed Raafat Shehata, at the intelligence agency’s headquarters in Cairo, a diplomatic source at the US Embassy in Cairo quoted by Turkish news agency Anadolu said.

Anadolu reported that the American source did not give any further details about the meeting, which began at 3:15 pm.

The source noted, however, that the meeting is part of the US secretary of state’s intention to listen to visions of all acting parties on the Egyptian political scene on how to relieve the country’s ongoing economic and political problems.

The source said the meeting was the last on Kerry’s agenda before he left to Riyadh.

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