US nears deal for in Egypt debt relief

US president Barack Obama. Picture: AFP.

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is close to a deal with Egypt's new government for $1 billion (R8.4bn) in debt relief, a senior US official said on Monday, as Washington seeks to help Cairo shore up its ailing economy in the aftermath of its pro-democracy uprising.

US diplomats and negotiators for Egypt's new Islamist president Mohamed Mursi are working to finalize an agreement but the deal is not yet done, the official said.