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Reports: Egypt To Let Pro-Democracy Americans Leave Country

Feb 29, 2012 (All Things Considered)

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Reuters and The Associated Press are reporting that Egyptian authorities have decided that seven Americans who it has accused of engaging in illegal "political activity" may now leave the country.

Those Americans include Sam LaHood, son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The younger man runs the U.S. government-sponsored International Republican Institute in Egypt.

As the AP says, "the decision Wednesday appeared to signal the end of the worst crisis in relations between Egypt and the U.S. in 30 years." American diplomats and lawmakers had warned that if the Americans weren't allowed to leave Egypt that might lead to a cut in U.S. aid to that country.

Both Reuters and the AP are now citing anonymous Egyptian officials as their sources for today's news.

Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told Congress that "we've had a lot of very tough conversations" with Egypt and "we're moving toward a resolution."

Update at 2:30 p.m. ET. On Capitol Hill today, according to The Associated Press, Clinton said she is encouraged by the report but that the U.S. has not yet confirmed that Egyptian authorities have indeed decided to let the Americans depart.

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