ABOARD AL-FAHEDI, May 15 (Reuters) - 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 fuel consumption.
Reporting by Martin Dokoupil; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Catherine Evans