The Trump administration is being applauded for its work in freeing an American charity worker who spent three years trapped in an Egyptian prison. Aya Hijazi, 30, returned to the United States late Thursday, The Washington Post reported.
According to the Post, President Donald Trump worked closely with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to secure the release of Hijazi, her husband Mohamed Hassanein, who is Egyptian, and four other humanitarian workers. On Thursday, the president sent a U.S. government aircraft to Cairo to fly Hijazi and her family to Washington.
Former President Barack Obama had also tried to release the charity workers from Egypt. But, the Post notes, it wasn’t until Trump made significant attempts to improve American relations with Egypt that President Sissi acted on this request.
On April 3, President Trump hosted the Egyptian president at the White House, pledging the U.S. government’s “strong backing” of Egypt and praising Sissi for his “fantastic leadership.” Less than two weeks after their visit, a Cairo court dropped all charges against Hijazi and the other workers.
Hijazi, an Egyptian-American and Virginia native, was working for the Belady Foundation in Cairo when she was arrested in 2014. She and her husband operated a rehabilitation center for orphaned and impoverished children until the couple was detained along with fellow aid workers on unsubstantiated charges of child abuse and human trafficking.
The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro praised the Trump administration for facilitating the prisoners’ release, describing the event as a positive shift in U.S. foreign policy:
Hijazi’s release comes as Secretary of Defense James Mattis tours the Middle East and reasserts America’s alliance with Sunni partners that have felt abandoned and neglected by the Obama administration’s diplomatic pivot toward Shiite Iran.
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