US to release $195m in military funding to Egypt

26 July 2018 (Last Updated July 27th, 2018 09:56)

The US Government has decided to lift restrictions on the provision of $195m (AED716.3m) in military aid to Egypt.

The US Government has decided to lift restrictions on the provision of $195m (AED716.3m) in military aid to Egypt.

The financial assistance was withheld last year over human rights and democracy concerns in the country, a State Department official said.

The official was quoted by CNN as saying: “Recognising steps Egypt has taken over the last year in response to specific US concerns, and in the spirit of our efforts to further strengthen this partnership, the Administration has decided to allow Egypt to use the remaining $195m in FY 2016 (foreign military financing) for military procurements.”

Last year, the administration decided to cancel funds of approximately $100m to Egypt and deny another $195m in August until the Trump administration found improvements with respect to human rights and democracy, reported the news agency.

“We have serious concerns regarding human rights and governance in Egypt, and we will continue to use the many tools at our disposal to raise these concerns.”

Known as Foreign Military Financing, the $195m funding will be used to acquire the US-made military equipment.

The funding is part of a $1.3bn aid package that Washington offers to Cairo every year.

Over the past 30 years, the US Government has provided approximately $80bn to Cairo in military and economic assistance.

Meanwhile, a US State Department official was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We have serious concerns regarding human rights and governance in Egypt, and we will continue to use the many tools at our disposal to raise these concerns.”

“At the same time, strengthened security cooperation is important to US national security. Secretary Pompeo determined that releasing these funds is important to supporting these needs and continuing to improve our partnership with Egypt.”