CAIRO — White House adviser Jared Kushner and visiting US officials have been snubbed by the Foreign Ministry in Cairo in apparent protest over a US cut in aid to Egypt.
The ministry said the country’s top diplomat, Sameh Shoukry, canceled his meeting with Kushner and the others, which had been scheduled for later on Wednesday.
The US delegation is in Cairo as part of a Mideast tour to press Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
The gesture comes after the Trump administration on Tuesday cut nearly $100 million in military and economic aid to Egypt and delayed almost $200 million more in military financing, pending human rights improvements and action to ease harsh restrictions on civic and other non-governmental groups.
A government statement said the American delegation will still meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
The US delegation also includes Jason Greenblatt, envoy for international negotiations, and Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser.
The delegation was in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday. Separate meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were expected for Thursday in Jerusalem and Ramallah respectively.
According to a senior White House official, US President Donald Trump has tasked the delegation with finding “a path to substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, combating extremism [and dealing with] the situation in Gaza, including how to ease the humanitarian crisis there.”
Abbas said on Sunday that the entire Trump administration was in “chaos,” and indicated that the White House disarray was affecting peace efforts.
“I don’t even know how they are dealing with us, because his entire administration is in chaos,” Abbas told a delegation of dovish Israeli lawmakers visiting Ramallah.
Abbas told parliamentarians from the Meretz party that he had met with US officials more than 20 times since Trump’s election in November 2016, yet still had little idea what their plans for peace negotiations were.