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Trump Said, 'Let's Bring Her Home.' Now She's Home

Egyptian-American Aya Hijazi had been detained in Egypt for almost 3 years
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2017 2:08 AM CDT
Trump Intervenes to Bring US Prisoner Home From Egypt
Aya Hijazi, center, a dual US-Egyptian citizen, was acquitted by an Egyptian court after nearly three years of detention over accusations related to running a foundation dedicated to helping street children.   (AP Photo/Mohamed el Raai)

In what appears to be a major foreign-policy victory for President Trump, a freed Egyptian-American charity worker is back in the US after the president personally intervened in the case, officials say. Aya Hijazi, a 30-year-old US citizen who'd been detained in Egypt for nearly three years, flew from Cairo to Washington with her family Thursday in a US government aircraft sent by Trump, the Washington Post reports. Hijazi, her husband, and four colleagues at a foundation to help street children had been jailed on what US authorities say were false charges of child abuse and human trafficking. Officials say the acquittal of all six on Sunday came weeks after Trump became involved in Hijazi's case.

Trump was criticized for not raising Hijazi's case when Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi visited the US early this month, but officials say that before the visit, the administration quietly secured a promise to release her. After being briefed on the case, Trump "just said, 'Let's bring her home,'" an insider tells the New York Times. Administration officials contrast what they call Trump's "discreet diplomacy" with the approach of former President Barack Obama, who publicly called for Hijazi's release but didn't invite al-Sissi to visit the US. Hijazi and family members are scheduled to meet with Trump, daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner at the White House Friday. (More Egypt stories.)

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