US sends military aid to Egypt again despite human rights problems

US sends military aid to Egypt again despite human rights problems
US sends military aid to Egypt again despite human rights problems

The Biden administration yesterday approved for the second year in a row the bulk of its military aid to Egypt despite concerns about the country’s human rights record, AFP and BTA reported.

“Our approach on the matter reflects the administration’s concern about human rights and fundamental rights in Egypt, while at the same time we seek to maintain the engagement and dialogue we have sought for 20 months to make further progress” in this area, a senior US State Department official told the media on condition of anonymity.

The decision is delicate for Washington, as Egypt is a strategic ally of the US. Aid to Cairo causes an uproar every year in Congress and among NGOs, which criticize American aid to a country accused of human rights abuses. rights and detention of thousands of political prisoners.

US law requires the State Department to annually certify whether or not Egypt is making progress on this matter. $300 million of the aid is contingent on progress being made in this area. This year, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken decided to deny Egypt $130 million of the $300 million to be redistributed, officials said.

Direct US military aid to Egypt, which does not include arms sales, was about $1.17 billion in fiscal year 2021. Egypt, which hosts the COP27 climate summit in November, has been one of the main recipients of US military aid since the country became the first Arab state to renew ties with Israel in 1979.

Washington believes that Egypt has made “clear progress” in the judicial field, although the Biden administration has condemned too limited progress on human rights.

Some NGOs estimate that there are about 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt.

US President Joe Biden has said he is making human rights and the promotion of democracy a priority of his foreign policy, unlike his predecessor Donald Trump. But this principle often clashes with Washington’s interests when it comes to allies considered crucial, such as Egypt in the Middle East, notes AFP.


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