Hoeven Meets with Fargo Native Haag, Egyptian Leaders in Cairo

CAIRO – Senator John Hoeven met with North Dakota native Staci Haag Monday at the United States Embassy in Egypt. Haag is one of seven American nongovernmental organization (NGO) workers detained and facing charges in Egypt.

“Staci is doing well and I was very pleased to meet with her in person,” said Hoeven. “She is staying at the embassy and U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson is doing everything she can to assist her.”

Hoeven is in Egypt with a bipartisan delegation of senators including Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). They met with military and government leaders with regard to the status of the nongovernmental organization (NGO) workers, as well as broader relations between the two countries. Those meetings included Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling military council in charge of the government of Egypt, as well as members of parliament, including the speaker and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest party in the new Egyptian parliament.

“Our meetings went well and we are guardedly optimistic that the American NGO workers situation will be resolved soon,” Hoeven said. “The Freedom and Justice Party, which is the party of the Muslim Brotherhood, put out a statement today which is helpful.

“Egypt is forming a new democratic government and writing its constitution. We emphasized the importance of the relationship between our nations and the need for cooperation between the U.S. and Egypt. We have been strong allies in the past and we made it clear that it is in the best interest of both our nations to maintain and build this relationship,” said Hoeven.

Hoeven also met last week with Egyptian Ambassador to the United States Sameh Shoukry to seek help for Haag and the other Americans who have been working for NGOs in Egypt. Haag was serving as resident director for the National Democratic Institute, a nonpartisan NGO, when she was detained.

Sens. Hoeven and McCain with Staci Haag