The Biden administration has decided to withhold some military assistance to Egypt due to human rights concerns, according to reports Monday.
Of the $1.3 billion in American military aid given each year to Cairo, $300 million is conditioned on Egypt meeting certain human rights standards, though administrations have typically issued a waiver to allow the assistance to be transferred.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is planning on issuing a waiver for $170 million in aid, Politico reported, with the remaining $130 million frozen unless Egypt meets benchmarks on human rights.
Unnamed officials told the Washington Post those conditions include ending prosecutions of rights and civil society groups, as well as the dropping of charges against 16 individuals whose cases the US has raised with Egypt.
“If they complete the human rights criteria that we laid out for the Egyptians, they also get the $130 million,” a US official was quoted as saying.
There was no official response from the administration to the reports, which described the move as a middle ground between calls to get tough on Cairo for alleged rights violations and Egypt’s role as a key US regional partner.