Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Senator blocks $75M in US military aid to Egypt over rights concerns

Representational photo: An Egyptian Aérospatiale Gazelle helicopter participates in an Egyptian military demonstration for observers during Bright Star 2017, Sept. 19, 2017, at Mohamed Naguib Military Base, Egypt. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Battles via U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Egypt has missed out on an additional $75 million in American military aid after a senior Democratic U.S. senator blocked the funding over concerns about Cairo’s human rights record including holding political prisoners.

Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, rejected an assessment offered by the U.S. State Department to justify the aid, which was subject to conditions under a law passed by Congress last year. The committee has jurisdiction over spending legislation including U.S. financial assistance for Egypt.

“We should take this law very seriously, because the situation facing political prisoners in Egypt is deplorable,” Leahy told Reuters in a statement.


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