Biden imposes new conditions on Egyptian aid

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The Biden administration is imposing new conditions on military aid to Egypt on human rights grounds, according to multiple reports.

Administration seeks to withhold part of $ 300 million in military aid, US official says says Politico Monday.

The official told the outlet that the administration plans to donate $ 170 million in cash, which can only be used for functions such as counterterrorism, border security and non-proliferation. The remaining $ 130 million would be withheld until the Egyptian government meets certain human rights criteria.

Among the conditions, Egypt should end the prosecution of civil society organizations known as Case 173, the Washington Post reported.

Egypt is also expected to release or drop charges against 16 people the United States has identified and raised in Cairo since June, according to the newspaper.

The White House referred questions about the aid to the State Department, which did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

The House passed its version of the foreign policy appropriation program in July that fully funds $ 1.3 billion in security assistance through 2023. However, some Democrats have called for cuts to funding following government criticism. Egyptian, including the detention of political prisoners.

Secretary of State is required by law to certify that the Egyptian government is taking “sustainable and effective measures” to strengthen the rule of law, democratic institutions and respect for human rights in order to free up military funding .

But the secretary can bypass that certification by issuing a waiver stating that it is in the national security interests of the United States to fully fund military aid.

Mira Resnick, deputy assistant secretary for regional affairs in the State Department’s office of politico-military affairs, told a Senate panel last month that officials have raised human rights concerns at the “highest level” of government, but said Egypt is still a “critical security partner”.

“The president himself has stressed the importance of a constructive human rights dialogue with the Egyptian government and we will continue to pursue it, even as we pursue common security objectives in maritime security, border security, anti-terrorism, ”Resnick said. at the time.

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