CAIRO: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says US-Egypt ties remain strong after a spat over democracy groups led to the worst tension in relations between the longtime allies in years.
Pelosi is leading a congressional delegation to Cairo. They met Thursday with the head of Egypt’s ruling military council Hussein Tantawi, and Parliament speaker Saad El-Katatny
Relations between Egypt and the US plunged when Egypt charged 16 Americans working for democracy-building groups with illegal activity.
American lawmakers threatened to cut more than $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt.
The tension was alleviated somewhat when Egypt lifted a travel ban on the Americans, effectively allowing them to avoid trial. Thirteen foreign defendants, including six Americans, left the country on March 1.
One American, Robert Becker, chose to stay in Egypt to face the charges.
Pelosi said the case will not be a barrier in relations between the two countries.
Two of the NGOs implicated in the case were the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute and Freedom House NGOs.
The groups, which are funded largely by the US government, promote the development of democratic institutions around the world and say that they do not back any particular candidates.