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Senator Blocks Egypt Navy Assist Over Rights

The brand new high US senator on overseas relations on Tuesday blocked some $235 million in navy support to Egypt over human rights considerations after his predecessor was indicted in a scandal that touched on ties with Cairo.

Ben Cardin, chairman of the Senate Overseas Relations Committee, mentioned he informed Secretary of State Antony Blinken that his maintain on funds “will stay till particular human rights progress is made.”

“I consider it’s crucial that we proceed to carry the federal government of Egypt, and all governments, accountable for his or her human rights violations,” Cardin mentioned in a press release.

He mentioned he would withhold the help to Egypt if it “doesn’t take concrete, significant and sustainable steps to enhance the human rights circumstances within the nation.”

Cardin, a member of President Joe Biden‘s Democratic Get together, known as particularly for extra pardons for a number of the estimated 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt.

He additionally known as for main reforms in pre-detention practices and offering extra space for the political opposition, civil society, and impartial media.


The State Division final month accredited $1.215 billion in navy support to Egypt for the approaching yr, its newest main package deal for Cairo regardless of Biden’s calls to emphasise human rights.

Cardin’s motion pertains to $235 million that Congress linked to human rights. Blinken didn’t certify that Egypt met the circumstances however he waived the resultant restrictions on support, citing US nationwide safety pursuits.

Blinken already withheld a separate $85 million that was linked particularly to progress on releasing political prisoners.


However the largest chunk of support, $980 million, was not topic to restrictions and can go forward.

Quite a few Democrats have been crucial of support to Egypt. However Cardin’s predecessor, Bob Menendez, was not too long ago indicted on allegations that he accepted a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} in bribes in trade for exerting his affect to profit Egypt.

Menendez, additionally a Democrat, has denied the fees and refused to resign however stepped other than the chairmanship of the Senate Overseas Relations Committee.

Egypt has seen a decade-long crackdown beneath President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former navy ruler who introduced Monday he would search a 3rd elected time period.

A coalition of six rights teams in a current report mentioned that Egypt’s “widespread and systematic” use of torture amounted to against the law in opposition to humanity.

The Biden administration, whereas acknowledging considerations over human rights, has discovered Egypt a significant interlocutor between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Egypt can also be a serious participant in its troubled neighbors Libya and Sudan.


Egypt has been one of many largest recipients of US navy support after it grew to become the primary Arab state to normalize relations with Israel in 1980.