The Biden administration has stated that $130 million in military aid to Egypt will be canceled due to human rights concerns, only days after the US approved a large $2.5 billion arms deal with Egypt.
Egypt has not completed the prerequisites to obtain the $130 million in foreign military financing that has been on hold since September, according to the State Department. The money would be diverted to other programs, but no further details were provided.
The government made no mention of the $130 million freeze in the announcement of the cancellation, despite the fact that it had approved a $2.5 billion sale of military transport planes and radar systems on Tuesday.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken approved $300 million in foreign military financing for Egypt in September, but withheld another $130 million unless the government met “certain human-rights related requirements” by the end of January.
The deadline for achieving those standards is approaching quickly, according to the department. “The Egyptian government has made significant progress on the conditions, but has yet to meet all of them.”
When asked about the apparent discrepancy, US officials maintained the military aid and the arms transaction had nothing to do with each other. According to them, Egypt will cover the $2.2 billion cost of the 12 Super Hercules C-130 cargo planes, as well as the $355 million cost of the air defense radar equipment.
Democrats in the US Congress, who had encouraged Blinken not to authorize the $130 million in help, were delighted with Friday’s decision, but did not mention the weaponry deal, which dwarfed the amount withheld.