People walk past an Egyptian army tank positioned outside Cairo's Tora prison, where the trial of Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and 24 others is taking place, March 23, 2014. (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)
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Egypt's army is taking charge of billions of dollars of development aid from the United Arab Emirates, an army official said, raising further doubts over the narrow separation of powers with the military-backed administration in place since July.Maj. Gen. Taher Abdullah, who heads the Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces, said when UAE officials discussed projects shortly after Morsi's ouster, it was with the army.The army's role in building construction became public earlier this month when UAE government-linked Dubai firm Arabtec announced it had inked a $40 billion deal with the military to build 1 million homes in Egypt.An official at Egypt's state-run silos and storage company with knowledge of the wheat project told Reuters that the interim government's Investment Ministry launched a tender in January to choose a company to build four of the silos.The UAE told the Egyptian ministry to withdraw the tender, making clear that they would not release money until they saw more "suitable" prices in it, the source said.He said the UAE held a meeting at a Cairo hotel in early March, convening representatives from the three Egyptian ministries and the state silo company along with army officials.The silos company source said the tender would be run again, along with tenders for the remaining silos.Maj. Gen. Abdullah said meetings between officials from the two governments over the silos were happening on a weekly basis and that army officials attended them.
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