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US military aid to Egypt under scrutiny on uprising’s anniversary

The Donald Trump administration has taken a harder line on military assistance to Egypt as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi moves away from Washington.
Security forces aim their weapons as take positions during clashes with gunmen in Kerdasa, a town 14 km (9 miles) from Cairo September 19, 2013. Egyptian security forces clashed with gunmen on the outskirts of Cairo on Thursday as the army-backed government moved to reassert control over an Islamist-dominated area where militants staged a bloody attack on a police station last month. REUTERS/Stringer (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY) - GM1E99J1SNE01

US President Donald Trump came into office promising to improve relations with Egypt, praising President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the campaign trail and inviting the former military leader to the White House just months after taking office.

But after more than a year of cajoling Egypt to stop cracking down on civil society groups, the White House has been taking a harder line ahead of the seventh anniversary of the Jan. 25, 2011, uprising that toppled longtime President Hosni Mubarak. The State Department suspended more than $200 million in military aid in September and has called out Cairo’s human rights violations.

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