Published: Mon, April 24, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

President Trump Quietly Negotiated the Release of Egyptian-American Captive, Says Report


Donald Trump's administration has secured the freedom of an Egyptian-US charity worker who was detained for almost three years in Cairo.

"We are very happy to have Aya back home, and it is a great honor to have her in the Oval Office", Trump said.

They were acquitted last Sunday of child abuse and trafficking charges that were dismissed as bogus by United States officials. Along with her husband and six colleagues at the foundation, Hijazi was eventually accused of sexually assaulting children and convincing them to join protests in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood.

She was held for trial far longer than allowed under Egyptian law, and was finally acquitted Sunday on human trafficking and child exploitation charges.

According to The Washington Post report, the White House did not offer anything to Egypt in exchange for Hijazi's release. "He's done a fantastic job in a very hard situation", Trump said during an April 3 meeting with el-Sissi.

U.S. officials had raised Hijazi's case with Egypt soon after Trump took office on January 20, aides said.

Asked specifically what the Trump administration was able to do that the former administration was not, Spicer highlighted the behind-the-scenes activity of the new administration.

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She returned to the U.S. Thursday.

Chaperoned by top American officials, Ms Hijazi and Mr Hassanein were reportedly flown back on a military aircraft to Joint Base Andrews, near Washington DC, at 22:00 on Thursday.

"He was here, I said I really would appreciate it if you could look into this and let her out", Trump told The Associated Press in an interview.

Meanwhile, the couple, as well as four other humanitarian workers that were part of the same case, languished in prison.

The Obama administration's petitions to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to release the prisoners were unsuccessful.

Aya Hijazi, 30, was flown home on a US government plane Thursday after she was freed by a Cairo court on April 16.

After that meeting came a break in the Hijazi case, and most analysts see a direct link between the two.

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