New York Times
CAIRO - The United States Embassy in Cairo is giving shelter to three American citizens to protect them from potential arrest by the Egyptian authorities in an investigation of four American-backed nongovernmental organizations operating here, colleagues said Monday.
The decision to give the individuals shelter indicates a new low in the relations between Cairo and Washington, which recently threatened to stop its $1.3 billion in annual aid to the Egyptian military if it failed to take steps toward a democratic transition, including respecting such nongovernmental groups.
Word of the embassy's decision came as Egypt's ruling military council began taking steps to address the fraying relations by sending a delegation of officers to the United States for meetings this week with their military counterparts, legislators and other officials. The delegation was in Tampa on Monday, visiting the Central Command headquarters.
Officials at the American Embassy declined to comment on the decision to shelter the Americans.
Last week, the Egyptian government barred at least six American employees of the nongovernmental groups from leaving the country.
Those six work for the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, two democracy-building groups with close ties to U.S. congressional leaders. The groups are under a criminal investigation by the Egyptian authorities over allegations that they violated rules on foreign funding.