US senator warns Egypt of “consequences” in NGO row

Republican US Senator Dick Lugar warned Egypt on Tuesday that "there will be consequences" from a deepening row that has seen a number of American citizens hole up at the US embassy in Cairo.

"We find this incomprehensible and there will be consequences," Lugar, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters.

Asked whether the United States should consider reevaluating aid to Egypt, which has a travel ban on several US citizens working for pro-democracy non-government organizations (NGOs), Lugar demurred.

"I'm not certain we should go into that sector at the moment," he told reporters, adding that Washington should warn Cairo of "sharp disagreements" over its handling of the situation.

US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland confirmed Monday that "a handful" of Americans barred from leaving had taken shelter at the American mission while awaiting Egypt's permission to depart.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon

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