US Approves Major Arms Sale to Egypt Despite Rights Concerns


The Biden administration on Tuesday approved a massive $2.5 billion arms sale to Egypt despite ongoing concerns over human rights. The State Department said Tuesday's sales were unrelated to $130 million in foreign military financing that was frozen in September and remains in limbo. But the size of the sale dwarfed the amount of withheld assistance and is likely to draw criticism from lawmakers who are demanding the administration make good on pledges to tie arms transfers to countries meeting minimal human rights standards. 

Shortly before the sale was announced a group of six House Democrats, including the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York, and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., called on the administration to insist that Egypt meet human rights criteria for military transfers. "If Egypt doesn’t meet the conditions in full, the administration has to stand firm and show the world that our actions live up to our stated commitment to democracy and human rights,” Murphy said. In September, Blinken announced that the administration would proceed with providing Egypt with $300 million in foreign military financing but would withhold another $130 million until the government “affirmatively addresses specific human rights related conditions.” 

Read more here.