US to release $1.2 billion in military aid to Egypt
U.S. suspended military aid to Egypt in August 2017 under former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, citing Egypt’s ongoing human rights abuses. Egypt and the country have been close partners for decades, with the U.S. providing around $80 billion in military and economic support over 30 years, and the suspension was lauded by human rights groups but came as a surprise to many. Now, Secretary of State Pompeo has authorized the suspended aid as “strengthened security cooperation with Egypt is important to U.S. national security,” even as the State department maintains “serious concerns about the human rights situation in Egypt,” concerns that the department has promised to continue to raise with the Egyptian government. Human Rights Watch has described the ongoing human rights crisis in Egypt as the “worst human rights crisis in the country in decades,” with another organization accusing the Trump Administration of giving President Sisi’s government a “green light” to continue the abuses.