WASHINGTON DC: Military aid worth $ 130 million, out of a $ 300 million package intended for Egypt, will be withheld by the Biden administration until the government of Abdel Fattah el- Sisi improves its human rights record.
The decision overturns the policy of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s predecessors regarding military aid to Egypt. In the interest of the national security of the United States, $ 300 million for this exercise was previously exempt from congressional controls.
“We continue to discuss our serious human rights concerns in Egypt. Blinken will move forward with the use of $ 130 million if the Egyptian government affirmatively addresses specific human rights conditions. ‘man,’ a State Department spokesperson said in an email, as quoted by Reuters.
However, human rights groups have expressed disappointment at the move and called on the administration to withhold the full $ 300 million.
Sarah Leah Witson, executive director of the advocacy group Democracy for the Arab World Now, said: “What the Biden administration has really done is waive the minimum human rights conditions imposed by Congress on a fraction of US aid, while keeping a small portion of $ 130 million. blocked under even more watered-down conditions, ”quoted by Reuters.
A congressional research report noted that approximately $ 1.3 billion worth of U.S. foreign aid has been provided to Egypt each year since fiscal 2017.