WASHINGTON: Lobbyists representing the Egyptian government in Washington have ended their contracts with their client following a raid by Egyptian authorities on several US nonprofit organizations, The New York Times reported late Saturday.
The newspaper said the move came after Egyptian authorities slapped a travel ban on several US citizens working for non-governmental organizations, preventing them from leaving the country.
The International Republican Institute, whose Egypt director Sam LaHood — the son of US Secretary for Transportation Ray LaHood — was among those banned from travel, according to Egyptian officials.
The ban was issued following the orders of the prosecutor general.
The Times said the Egyptian government had also refused to let employees of the organizations leave the country.
The lobbying firms dropping Egypt as a client include the Livingston Group, run by former Representative Robert Livingston, Republican of Louisiana; the Moffett Group, run by former Representative Toby Moffett, Democrat of Connecticut; and the Podesta Group, owned by Tony Podesta, one of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington, the report said.
Podesta has close ties to the administration of President Barack Obama, The Times said.
The firms were widely criticized for distributing talking points defending the Egyptian government’s raid, the paper noted.
They shared a lobbying contract worth more $1.1 million a year to represent Egypt’s interests in Washington, The Times pointed out.