Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) together with Representatives William R. Keating (D-MA), Chair of the Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber, Gerald Connolly (D-VA), President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Vice Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, David Cicilline (D-RI), Ted Lieu (D-CA), and Sara Jacobs (D-CA) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the Administration to stand by important statutory human rights criteria and not release a portion of U.S. assistance if Egypt fails to fully meet requirements outlined in the annual Appropriations bill.
Full text of the letter can be found here and excerpts below:
“...we remain concerned by continued reports – both by the State Department as well as credible international and Egyptian organizations – about the ongoing, pervasive, and systemic violations of human rights in Egypt that risk destabilizing the country”
“...as the Department weighs whether to grant Egypt the $300 million in FY21 FMF or to withhold such funds from obligation, we call on you not to certify that Egypt has taken “sustained and effective steps” to implement the criteria as required by law”
“Unfortunately, while the Egyptian government released some political prisoners and launched certain initiatives aimed at improving the human rights situation inside the country, it has failed to take “sustained and effective steps” required by statute and has still not completed all of the administration’s conditions placed on the $130 million withheld last September.”
“As the Biden administration continues to seek to prioritize human rights in our foreign policy following the Trump administration’s woeful abdication of our democratic principles, we call on you to uphold these values – and adhere to the spirit and intent of the law – in our bilateral relationship with Egypt.”