Trump says 'no deal' was made for charity worker

Pablo Tucker
April 22, 2017

President Trump posted a video to Twitter on Friday highlighting the release of Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American aid worker who spent 3 years in a Cairo prison.

Folks on social media couldn't help but compare this prisoner release to the one the Obama administration negotiated with Iran.

Trump was directly involved in negotiations to free Aya Hijazi, 30, said White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

Hijazi and her coworkers were imprisoned on May 1, 2014 on child abuse and trafficking charges - accusations that were baseless, according to USA officials and human-rights workers - due to the lack of evidence.

According to the Washington Post, Hijazi became the global face of Cairo's alleged brutal crackdown on civil society, particularly on human rights group that received foreign funding.

The bilateral relations between Egypt and US worsened during Trump's predecessor Barrack Obama's administration after the Egyptian military ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

Trump did not mention the case publicly when he met with Sisi., but did move to reset USA relations with Egypt, hosting Sisi for talks at the White House and giving him firm backing, including in the fight against Islamist militants.

"The president discussed the issue privately with President el-Sissi when he visited the White House a little while ago", he said.

Her case was on the agenda when President Donald Trump met earlier this month with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis arrived in Egypt on Thursday as part of his tour of the Middle East.

"It let us be reunited as a family", Hijazi said.

He made no public mention of her case at the time, and activists criticised the administration for glossing over Egypt's poor human rights record while focusing on trade and military cooperation. As late as last December, Egyptian authorities challenged the notion that Hijazi was being held on bogus charges.

Sisi's visit marked a shift in relations after Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had given the Egyptian leader the cold shoulder for staging the military overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Mursi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, had been elected the previous year.

Other reports by iNewsToday