ABOARD AL-FAHEDI May 15 The United Arab
Emirates, a major donor to Egypt since the army removed former
president Mohamed Mursi from power, has no plans at present to
step up its financial aid, the Gulf Arab state's finance
minister said on Thursday.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is also the deputy
ruler of Dubai, told reporters aboard his royal yacht Al Fahedi:
"We are talking about support (for Egypt)." Asked whether there
were plans for more financial aid, he said: "No plans for now."
The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait promised
more than $12 billion in loans and donations to support the
Egyptian economy after Mursi's removal in July last year.
Earlier this month the head of Egypt's national oil company
said Gulf oil producers had given Egypt a free fuel lifeline
worth a total $6 billion to help fend off unrest on its streets
in the summer when consumption soars.
The aid should help reduce the heavy costs of government
fuel subsidies and ease the drain on foreign exchange reserves.
Fuel subsidies cost Egypt's government $15 billion a year, a
fifth of the state budget. The money keeps pump prices well
below market values, giving Egyptians no incentive to curb their
(Reporting by Martin Dokoupil; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing
by Catherine Evans)