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House Democrats urge cuts to Egypt's military aid over rights abuses

The Biden administration will soon decide whether to restrict part of the United States’ annual military assistance to Egypt for the third year in a row.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — A group of House Democrats on Thursday urged the Biden administration to deny security assistance to Egypt that Congress has conditioned on the close Middle East partner making improvements to its human rights record

Eleven congressional Democrats led by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said they were concerned by “the persistent and continued systemic violations of human rights in Egypt,” which trails Israel as the second-largest recipient of US military aid. 

The $1.3 billion security assistance package Egypt receives annually from the United States has continued in the face of its record on human rights, which includes the jailing of tens of thousands of political prisoners and the use of pretrial detention. 

Congress since 2014 has put human rights-related conditions on a share of that aid to incentivize Egypt’s current president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to change course. 

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