The spokesmen for Blinken and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond immediately to inquiries via e-mail and SMS.
The US provides military aid to Egypt US $ 1.3 billion annually. Of this, Congress has imposed human rights requirements on $ 300 million. But the foreign minister can override these conditions and allow aid to reach Cairo, which was the standard.
The US official said the government plans to give Egypt $ 170 million of the $ 300 million but withhold the remaining $ 130 million until the Egyptian government meets unspecified human rights conditions.
However, the $ 170 million can only be used for specific functions, such as counterterrorism, border security, and non-proliferation – areas that are permitted for aid under a specific provision of the law.
The $ 130 million withheld is an amount set by the Biden government due to certain legal restrictions on the funds.
President Joe Biden and his chief diplomat Blinken are committed to promoting human rights, even when it comes to allied countries led by dictators like the Egyptian Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Several celebrities Democratic lawmakers have pushed the government to live up to this ideal and withhold the entire 300 million dollars from Egypt. They discover that Sisi has imprisoned tens of thousands of people for political reasons, among other things.
Among the most prominent voices calling for Biden to withhold the entire $ 300 million is Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). He recently told POLITICO that he would not be satisfied with a compromise like that of the Biden administration.
“The law is the law. The law states that you cannot provide that $ 300 million unless you certify that there has been demonstrable progress on human rights. That progress was not made, ”Murphy said at the time. “I also worry that half a thing won’t make anyone happy. The Egyptians will still feel like a slap in the face, but the world will not feel the full moral impact. “
Sisi found ways to serve the United States. This includes working together on counter-terrorism and maintaining a cold peace with Israel. Earlier this year, Egypt helped broker a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas militant group in Gaza.
Sisi met with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday for talks in the resort of Sharm El-Sheikh on the Red Sea. It was the first public meeting between an Israeli and an Egyptian leader in more than a decade, and it will likely please Washington as it seeks to improve relations between Israel and its neighbors.