Kuwait pledges $4bn in aid to Egypt

Gulf state matches support given by Saudi Arabia and the UAE amid Egypt crisis

People celebrate at Tahrir Square after a broadcast by the head of the Egyptian military confirming that they will temporarily be taking over from the country's first democratically elected president Mohamed Mursi. (AFP/Getty Images)

People celebrate at Tahrir Square after a broadcast by the head of the Egyptian military confirming that they will temporarily be taking over from the country's first democratically elected president Mohamed Mursi. (AFP/Getty Images)

Kuwait will provide $4bn in aid to Egypt, state news agency KUNA said, matching pledges by Saudi Arabia and the UAE that showed Gulf Arab approval of the Egyptian army's ousting of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

KUNA said the package would comprise a $2bn central bank deposit, a $1bn grant and $1bn in oil products,

On Tuesday Saudi Arabia and the UAE each pledged $4bn in aid to Egypt, where the army overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood's Mursi a week ago after huge street demonstrations against the elected president.

KUNA did not say when the Kuwaiti aid would arrive.

Kuwait has in the past cooperated with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, pledging financial aid for Gulf neighbours hit by social unrest such as Bahrain and Oman, but also for Morocco and Jordan.

The aid from the three Gulf Arab oil producers is expected to help Egypt avoid a balance of payments crisis and overcome fuel shortages that partly stoked public anger against Mursi.

It will also ease pressure on Cairo to conclude long-running talks with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8bn loan. However, a surging fiscal gap and political turmoil following Mursi's toppling last week will remain a pressing challenge for Egyptian authorities, analysts said.

Qatar lent Egypt more than $7bn during Mursi's abruptly curtailed year in power, but other Gulf states remained aloof, wary of the Muslim Brotherhood's potential influence in their own conservative, dynastically ruled countries.

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