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Marriott’s hope for a positive trade agreement following President Obama’s promise of a $1 billion aid package to Egypt may have been weakened after a Tunisian hotel was attacked for serving alcohol earlier this week.
Marriott International Inc. (MAR) plans to add three hotels to the seven it now operates in Egypt and wants assurance that the country’s new Islamist-dominated government will welcome tourists and the alcohol they like to consume.
Egypt did both under President Hosni Mubarak, who ruled for 30 years before being ousted last year during the Arab Spring revolutions that swept the Middle East. Executives for Marriott plan to join a trade delegation to Egypt this week to see if those policies will change under the newly elected President Mohamed Mursi, whose Muslim faith generally shuns alcohol.
Other companies participating in the trade mission include Boeing Co. (BA) of Chicago; Citigroup Inc. (C) of New York; Coca-Cola Co. (KO) of Atlanta; General Electric Co. (GE) of Fairfield, Connecticut; Google Inc. (GOOG) of Mountain View, California; and FedEx Corp. (FDX) of Memphis, Tennessee, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.