U.S. nears deal with Morsi on debt-relief package for Egypt

The United States is nearing an agreement with Egypt’s new government to eliminate a significant portion of the $3.2 billion owed by the economically struggling nation, U.S. officials said Monday. The discussions are the first major negotiation between the Obama administration and Egypt’s new democratically elected leaders.

U.S. officials have been in Cairo since last week hammering out the details of the debt relief package, which could approach $1 billion, a goal previously announced by the Obama administration. A final announcement is expected this month, according to a U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity because the agreement is not finalized…

“The United States is working to help relieve Egypt of part of its immediate fiscal and balance-of-payments pressure in support of the Egyptian government’s own, home-grown reform plan,” Undersecretary of State Robert D. Hormats said in a speech at the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt last week after meeting with Egyptian officials.