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“NDI has maintained open, transparent and constructive relationships with the government of Egypt, sharing with the authorities all major program activities conducted by the Institute,” it said.

Both Washington-based groups provide advice to foreign political activists, offering tips on preparations for elections and organization of political parties. Neither group provides funds to political parties.

The IRI, chaired by Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, is allied with the Republican Party, and the NDI, chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, is aligned with the Democratic Party.

Egyptian authorities have defended the raid on the groups’ offices along with another Washington-based group, Freedom House, and several Egyptian civil rights organizations.

On Sunday, Fayza Aboul Naga, minister of planning and international cooperation, and Justice Minister Adel Abdel Hamid called the raids part of an investigation into illegal foreign funding of political groups.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.