Washington, DC – Foreign Policy for America thanks Representative Gregory W. Meeks, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, for his leadership in calling for and effectively pausing the full $320 million in annual military aid to Egypt in light of the government’s poor human rights practices. We also recognize Representatives Gerald Connolly, Jason Crow, Joaquin Castro, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Sara Jacobs, William Keating, Dean Phillips, Dina Titus, Susan Wild, and Ted Lieu, for standing alongside the ranking member in support of this action.
In addition to longstanding concerns of the Egyptian government’s human rights practices, allegations regarding the efforts of Egyptian officials to corruptly influence congressional oversight of U.S. military aid merits an immediate pause to and review of any release of funds. This is critical to ensure that our foreign policy is consistent with American values, including U.S. support for human rights and the rule of law.
“This is absolutely the right decision — and Ranking Member Meeks deserves all the praise he’s receiving today,” said Andrew Albertson, executive director of Foreign Policy for America. “It’s not at all clear Egypt met the conditions for this aid to be released in the first place. Given the circumstances under which it was released, and everything we learned from the Menendez indictment about Egypt’s actions, there’s no way Washington can move forward with sending Egypt hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Instead, we need to pause and reassess this relationship. Congress has work to do to restore the public’s faith after this shameful episode, but this is a good first step.”
FP4A calls on Congressional leaders to further engage with the Biden Administration to consider withholding additional military assistance, sending a clear signal to Egypt – and the world – that the U.S. will prioritize human rights in bilateral relationships, as well as the need to protect the integrity of the foreign military financing process.