The relationship between the U.S. government and the Egyptian regime is coming under increasing pressure as authorities in Egypt shut down American tax-funded “democracy” groups in Cairo while pursuing reforms that are unpopular with the Obama administration and critics in Congress. Meanwhile, within Egypt, tensions between rival interests are also escalating.
The military junta that ended up siding with anti-regime protesters has accused foreign-funded “activists” — including more than a few Americans working for U.S. government-financed organizations — of undermining the new rulers and supporting protests. Criminal inquiries into the groups’ activities are ongoing.
At least six Americans and numerous other foreigners, some whom were working for the U.S. government-funded International Republican Institute or the National Democratic Institute, have been barred from leaving the country as the investigations continue. Several U.S. nationals are taking shelter at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, the State Department said.
"We do not feel that they are in physical danger at the moment. That is a different matter than whether they are being persecuted in the Egyptian judicial system," U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nulan told NPR, noting that the situation would be discussed by the Obama administration and a delegation of Egyptian generals currently in Washington.
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