WASHINGTON, DC — Egypt's powerful General Intelligence Service has hired Interpublic Group agencies Weber Shandwick and Cassidy & Associates in Washington to help improve perceptions of the country, according to documents filed with the Department of Justice.

The contracts, worth $1.8m in total, call for the firms to promote Egypt's "strategic partnership with the United States," and its "leading role in managing regional risks", while also showcasing the country's economic development and civil society.

Weber Shandwick will be paid $1.2m per year, while Cassidy's contract is worth $600k. Both firms have been retained by the Egyptian intelligence agency known as the Mukhabarat. The Egyptian government's foreign ministry has previously worked with Glover Park Group.

The assignments come as President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's government attempts to improve its international reputation, particularly in the US. Egypt receives $1.3bn in military aid from the US each year and Sisi was the first foreign leader to call President Trump after his election victory last year.

The work involves a range of services, including identifying third parties “supportive” of Egypt's agenda; overseeing social media, lobbying and media relations; and crisis management counsel.