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US Withholds $130 Million in Military Aid to Egypt
Egyptian Army soldiers armed with 7.62mm AK-47 assault rifles practice their beach assault techniques at El Omayed, Egypt as US, Spanish and Egyptian Forces conduct amphibious operations, during Exercise Bright Star, a multinational exercise involving more than 74,000 troops from 44 countries, in 2001. (The U.S. National Archives)

US Withholds $130 Million in Military Aid to Egypt

The United States will withhold $130 million in military aid to Egypt until Cairo meets several human rights criteria.

“We are continuing to discuss our serious concerns about human rights in Egypt,” the State Department announced Tuesday in a statement.

However, the statement said that Secretary of State Antony Blinken “will move forward with the use of $130 million if the government of Egypt affirmatively addresses specific human-rights related conditions.”

Of the total allocation of $300 million for this fiscal year, $170 million will be released without conditions, and $130 million only “if the Government of Egypt affirmatively addresses specific human-rights related conditions,” a State Department spokesperson said.

Several leading rights groups, which urged the Biden administration to block the entire $300 million in aid, expressed disappointment at the decision, saying it was a “betrayal” of the US commitment to promote human rights.

The State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement: “We are continuing to discuss our serious concerns about human rights in Egypt.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who in 2013 toppled former President Mohammad Morsi, the only democratically elected president in modern Egyptian history, has overseen a crackdown on the opposition that has tightened in recent years. Sisi denies there are political prisoners in Egypt and says stability and security are paramount.

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