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State Dept. Seeks to Minimize Resumption of U.S. Aid to Egypt

The State Department today sought to minimize a Cairo report that the United States has agreed to resume substantial economic and technical aid to the Nasser government in Egypt. A State Department spokesman explained that this was not a new aid program, but the resumption of projects envisaged earlier. He said:

“The United States, early in March, 1959, removed restrictions on approximately $5, 000, 000 in previously obligated economic aid funds for prior fiscal years and also made available $2,000, 000 from fiscal year 1959. These funds have been apportioned for the procurement of locomotives, tallow, and newsprint. At the same time we agreed to resume normal technical cooperation activities under our general technical cooperation agreement of 1951. As a result of discussions in Cairo, project agreements were signed on June 27 or 28 in the fields of civil aviation and highway development assistance.

“The civil aviation project agreement provides for the expenditure of $66, 300, almost all of which is to finance the training of Egyptian civil aviation technicians outside of Egypt. The highway development project is similar to one which was in effect prior to mid-1956 and calls for the expenditure of about $225,000, a large portion of which is designed to finance a contract with a firm of private American highway consultants. A small sum($21, 000) has also been obligated for assistance in training on statistical methods involved in census taking. No new general technical assistance agreement has been signed. ” the spokesman concluded.

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