The State Department reported that this is due to the human rights situation.
The U.S. authorities will continue to provide military assistance to Egypt for $ 130 million only if Cairo takes the necessary measures to improve the human rights situation. A representative of the Department of State reported this.
“The [U.S.] Secretary of State intends to move forward with the use of $130 million [allocated for this purpose by Congress] if the Egyptian government responds positively to specific conditions related to human rights,” the official said. The representative of the Department of State stressed that the leaders of the United States and Egypt “share a commitment to a strong and productive partnership” between the two countries. “The [U.S.] administration < … > supports the strengthening of bilateral relations between the U.S. and Egypt, along with tangible and sustainable improvements in the field of human rights,” he added.
According to the newspaper Politico, the United States annually provides military assistance to Egypt in the amount of $ 1.3 billion. However, according to the decision of the U.S. Congress, $300 million of this amount can be provided only if Egypt complies with some conditions related to the protection of human rights. At the same time, the Secretary of State can bypass this requirement of the legislative branch of government and send assistance to Cairo based on the interests of Washington. Politico notes that in previous years, the leadership of the Department of State acted exactly this way, and the current head of the Department of State, Antony Blinken, plans to take an “unprecedented step” in this matter. As an American official, whose name is not called, explained to the newspaper, this year, the Washington administration plans to send $170 million of the mentioned $300 million to Cairo but to keep the remaining part of the amount – $130 million. At the same time, $170 million can be used only for certain purposes, including the fight against terrorism, ensuring border security, and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
As the Reuters news agency writes, various human rights organizations have previously called on Washington to freeze all $300 million. The agency notes that human rights activists called the administration’s decision to only partially satisfy this appeal a “betrayal” by the United States of its obligations to promote human rights.