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Egypt asks US, EU to freeze assets of officials

Egypt has reportedly asked the U.S. and the European Union to freeze the assets of former top Egyptian officials.

Nile River
A couple gazes over the Nile River on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt has asked the US and EU to freeze the assets of former Egyptian officials, though not of former President Honsi Mubarak. (John Moore/Getty Images)

The Egyptian government has reportedly asked the U.S. and the European Union to freeze the assets of a number of Egyptian individuals, though so far that list does not include former President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt has asked the U.S. Treasury, along with Britain, Germany and France, to freeze the assets of "six or seven" former regime officials, "but definitely not including Mubarak," an EU diplomat told Agence France-Presse.

A senior U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal that the request was made to treasury over the weekend.

A French foreign ministry spokesman on Monday confirmed that the requests from Cairo "concern neither former president Hosni Mubarak nor members of his family."

Within hours of Mubarak’s resignation on Friday, Switzerland moved to find and freeze any assets believed to be in the hands of Mubarak, his family or his inner circle.

Read: Is Hosni Mubarak the world's richest man?

A statement from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs read: "The [government] intends in doing so to avoid any risk of embezzlement of Egyptian state property. At the same time, the cabinet calls on responsible authorities in Egypt to comply with the justified demands of the Egyptian people in a quick, credible, participatory and transparent manner."

EU finance ministers discussed the issue at a meeting in Brussels on Monday night and were expected to revisit the issue in talks Tuesday morning.

The European Union and the Swiss have moved to freeze assets belonging to the ousted president of Tunisia, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 14.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/egypt/110215/egypt-hosni-mubarak-freeze-assets-switzerland-billionaire