Egypt set to back down in standoff with U.S. over arrested NGO workers

Washington is unlikely to accept the government’s claim of impartiality in the case, which underscores tensions between the two long-standing allies since the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last February.

But two officials involved in Egypt’s diplomatic strategy said the army rulers want to ease the tension to ensure the aid keeps flowing and get American help to ensure favorable terms for an International Monetary Fund support package for Egypt.

“The travel ban will be lifted and the escalation will cease,” one of the officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity. “Egypt needs the loans and the IMF funds to come through, but better terms are needed.”

He said army leaders believed the U.S. government can help Egypt secure the IMF money on favorable terms.