WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump met Friday at the White House with an Egyptian-American charity worker who was freed after nearly three years of detention in Egypt.
Trump was directly involved in negotiations to free Aya Hijazi, 30, said White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Hijazi and her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, an Egyptian, returned to the Washington area this week.
“We are very happy to have Aya back home and it’s a great honor to have her in the Oval Office,” Trump said.
Hijazi’s brother, Basel Hijazi, also attended the White House meeting, along with Trump aides Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Dina Powell.
Earlier this week, a court acquitted Hijazi of charges of child abuse that were widely dismissed as bogus by human rights groups and U.S. officials. She and her husband had established a foundation to aid street children in 2013, but were arrested along with several others in 2014.
Her case was on the agenda when Trump met this month with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Details of their arrival were first reported by The Washington Post. Their release and the freedom of four other humanitarian workers were negotiated by Trump and White House aides, and Trump sent a U.S. government aircraft to Cairo to bring them home, the Post reported.
Hijazi, a dual national, was born in Egypt and grew up in Falls Church, Virginia, a Washington suburb. She received a degree in conflict resolution from George Mason University in 2009. --AP