US to block millions for Egypt over human rights

1/29/2022 4:55:00 AM

The Biden admin. has decided to deny $130M of military aid for Egypt over the country's failure to comply with human rights conditions laid out by the US State Dept., according to a senior US State Dept. official, congressional sources and activists.

The Biden admin. has decided to deny $130M of military aid for Egypt over the country's failure to comply with human rights conditions laid out by the US State Dept., according to a senior US State Dept. official, congressional sources and activists.

The Biden administration has decided to deny $130 million of military aid allocated for Egypt over the country's failure to comply with human rights conditions laid out by the US State Department, according to a senior US State Department official, congressional sources and activists.

(CNN) — The rare move against a close ally comes just days before a January 30 deadline for the State Department to announce plans for the funds, which are the remaining portion of a controversial $300 million tranche of aid that was split up in September with just over half given to Egypt then and the remaining amount held back until now over human rights concerns.

"The last place that needs $130 million is Egypt," the senior State Department official said, adding that Congress has been informed and there is"complete consensus" within the department on the recommendation that Secretary of State Antony Blinken not allow Egypt to receive the money which will now be allotted to other countries.

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(FILE PHOTO) (CNN) —   The rare move against a close ally comes just days before a January 30 deadline for the State Department to announce plans for the funds, which are the remaining portion of a controversial $300 million tranche of aid that was split up in September with just over half given to Egypt then and the remaining amount held back until now over human rights concerns.MANILA, Philippines – South Korea is no stranger to delivering zombie apocalypse-themed projects, but director Lee Jae-kyoo assures fans that the upcoming series All of Us Are Dead will give new meaning to the genre.In a written response to Russia’s demands delivered in person by its ambassador in Moscow, the US repeated its commitment to upholding NATO’s “open-door” policy while offering a “principled and pragmatic evaluation” of the Kremlin’s concerns, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.the launch has been moved to Spring 2022 due to the ongoing chip shortage.

"The last place that needs $130 million is Egypt," the senior State Department official said, adding that Congress has been informed and there is"complete consensus" within the department on the recommendation that Secretary of State Antony Blinken not allow Egypt to receive the money which will now be allotted to other countries. Two congressional sources confirmed that they were briefed on Wednesday about the State Department's plans, and human rights activists who spoke with CNN had also been informed. But in most stories, we look at what happens to adults when they meet a zombie virus,” he told the press on Wednesday, January 26. State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Thursday that the status of the money has not changed and that Blinken"has yet to make a determination. “Secretary Blinken … conveyed that de-escalation and diplomacy are the responsible way forward,” department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement." Blinken spoke with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, on Thursday about a range of issues, including human rights, but the department's summary of the call did not mention the aid money. “It happens within a very confined space that is a school, and it happens to students who are not yet mature adults…. The Egyptian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment but the senior State Department official said they have been told they will not be receiving the money. Thanks to the lighter camouflage, we were able to catch a glimpse of its bold grille, sporty front bumper, and eye-catching LED headlights.

The"Egyptians are not thrilled," the official said. I felt like it could bring a new kind of meaning to the zombie genre,” he added. “Putting things in writing is … a good way to make sure we’re as precise as possible, and the Russians understand our positions, our ideas, as clearly as possible. The denial of the funds for Egypt is a first for the Biden administration, following on President Joe Biden's campaign trail vow to end"blank checks for Trump's 'favorite dictator,'" Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. While the move is both punitive and symbolic, human rights activists argue that those millions withheld are dwarfed by the $2. But our series is not something like that.5 billion sale of US weapons and equipment to Egypt authorized just this week by the Biden administration. Whether President Vladimir Putin is prepared to accept Washington and its allies’ agenda will determine the next phase of the crisis, in which Moscow has massed around 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine while denying it plans to invade. "This is the right thing to do, but unfortunately the impact and effectiveness of this decision is undermined by simultaneously moving forward with arms sales, nearly 20 times more than the amount being reprogramed," said Seth Binder, the director for advocacy at the Project on Middle East Democracy. So what we have at our hands is like school supplies – desks or chairs..

The sale, which includes a dozen large transport planes and three radar systems, are in the US security interest and being paid for in part with American military aid money already received by Egypt, the State Department official countered. "We're letting them buy things that are in our interest," the official said.” Based on the popular webtoon Now At Our School by Joo Dong-geun, All of Us Are Dead revolves around a virus-ridden school whose surviving students try to defend themselves from a zombie apocalypse., Britain and others are providing weapons to help Ukraine defend against Russia’s much larger army."If we were letting them buy things that they believe are in their interest but are of no benefit to the United States, then I would understand that argument." The amount Egypt will now not receive is ten percent of the roughly $1. “We all felt that pressure and responsibility,” said director Lee.3 billion in military financing the US gives Egypt each year. The partners studied our project for almost a month and a half.

The State Department can use an oft-criticized national security waiver to bypass the human rights stipulations attached to the aid, as it has in the past.” Director Lee emphasized that in creating the series, they took into account how to make the events look as real as possible. Blinken did not use the waiver for the September tranche of $300 million, but the administration was harshly criticized by activists and some lawmakers for bypassing conditions set by Congress and releasing any money at all. The remaining balance of $130 million was contingent on ending what's known as Case 173, which saw the prosecution and investigations of human rights groups, as well as travel bans and asset freezes. “We would do some test-shootings, and then we would have another rehearsal with the cast. Western-Russian differences were on full display on Tuesday with US President Joseph R. Charges would also need to be dropped against 16 individuals targeted for political reasons. Some progress has been made, according to activists, including releases that appear to be connected to the 16 people and some lifting of Case 173 investigations. I wanted people to feel really immersed….

That progress is connected to the US pressure, they argue. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said personal sanctions on Mr. But the targeting and persecutions continue, the US conditions far from met. Aside from the production value of the series, director Lee also pointed out that since All of Us Are Dead is a Netflix project, he was given more creative freedom with it. "The Biden administration set an incredibly low bar for Egypt to clear — far lower than Congress intended — to receive its full military aid," said Andrea Prasow, the executive director of the Freedom Initiative."At the same time, we now know that pressure works when our rhetoric has teeth. I think that led to how we were able to bring lifelike expressions to a zombie series,” he said. Putin’s personal wealth is a sensitive topic in Russia. The fact that any progress was made on prisoner releases is only because the administration held firmly to its conditions, and we should insist that doing so is the only path forward in relations with Egypt.

" In 2017, the Trump administration withheld almost $300 million in aid over human rights, and while $195 million of it was eventually released, almost $100 million was denied. “ We wanted to tell the story of what kind of hope people should carry as we live our lives. In September, the $170 million handed to Egypt was designated for counterterrorism, border control and non-proliferation. Peskov has previously said that imposing sanctions on Putin would amount to a severing of diplomatic relations. This story was first published on CNN. So, while it’s going to be a wildly entertaining show, we also wanted to create a drama series that leaves you with food for thought as well,” they said.com" .