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Congress loosens pressure on Egypt just as new anti-Sisi protests emerge

Key senators have abandoned efforts to cut Egyptian military aid just as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government clamps down on new protests.
Egyptian protesters shout slogans as they take part in a protest calling for the removal of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo's downtown on September 20, 2019. - Protestors also gathered in other Egyptian cities calling for the removal of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi but police quickly dispersed them. In Cairo dozens of people joined night-time demonstrations around Tahrir Square -- the epicenter of the 2011 revolution that toppled the country's long-time autocratic leader. (Photo by STR / AFP)

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 16.0px 'Times New Roman'; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.s2 {text-decoration: underline ; font-kerning: none; color: #0463c1; -webkit-text-stroke: 0px #0463c1} Egyptian security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas at hundreds of protesters in the Red Sea city of Suez on Saturday, one day after anti-corruption protests targeting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government sprung up in Cairo and several other cities. Police have since arrested more than 365 protesters as well as Mahienour el-Massry, a human rights lawyer who had sought to represent several of the anti-corruption demonstrators. 

Despite Sisi’s crackdown on dissent, President Donald Trump greeted him at the UN General Assembly with effusive praise, calling him a “real leader” and dismissing the demonstrations against him. But the crackdown comes days after Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a Trump ally who’s typically more skeptical of Sisi, walked back his multiyear effort to cut Egyptian military aid in a bid to pressure Cairo on its human rights record.

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