U.S Officials said the Biden Administration will withhold a portion of $300 million military aid sent to Egypt over human rights concerns. The aid will be strictly monitored and may have restrictions on where it is being used.
PC: The News Caravan
Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, will move forward with the decision to withhold aid and will choose to not use a waiver. The U.S has provided Egypt with $1.3 billion aid on an annual basis for many years as long human-rights-related conditions are met. However, the secretary of state has the power to overrule such conditions and send the entire aid to the country by using a waiver.
U.S officials plan to withhold $170 million out of the $300 million aid until the government of Egypt meets the human rights conditions as specified. Egypt may only be allowed to the $170 million in certain fields such as border security, non-proliferation, and counterterrorism.
PC: The Washington Post
Democratic lawmakers have insisted the administration to completely withhold the $300 million as Egypt’s Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has jailed countless people for opposition on political fronts. Senator Chris Murphy has told reporters,
“The law is the law. The law says you can’t provide $300 million unless you can certify there’s been demonstrable progress on human rights. That progress has not been made. I also worry that half-measure won’t make anybody happy. The Egyptians will still feel like they’ve been slapped in the face, but the world will not feel the full moral impact.”
On Monday, Sisi met with Naftali Bennett, Prime Mister of Israel for talks regarding the Red Sea Resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh. This meeting is the first public meeting to have taken place between both countries. The meeting is likely to benefit relations with the US as it has been insisting on countries to improve relations with Israel.