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Egypt Human Rights Caucus Co-Chairs’ Statement On New Weapons Sales

Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), co-chairs of Congress’ Egypt Human Rights Caucus, issued the following statement today on new U.S. weapons sales to the Egyptian government:

“The Egypt Human Rights Caucus was disappointed that the sale notified to Congress for 168 missiles to the Egyptian military, valued at $197 million, was not preceded by preliminary outlines of how the Biden administration plans to elevate human rights in all aspects of our relationship with the Egyptian government—including through our security partnership. While the negotiations for this arms deal were initiated by the previous administration, forthcoming weapons transfers to the Egyptian military must follow engagement with Congress on plans for expanded human rights due diligence.

“Specifically, we look forward to engaging with the Biden administration on planned actions by the United States to address the human rights crisis at the hands of Egyptian security services, including the approximately 60,000 political prisoners held in Egyptian prisons. Furthermore, we look forward to an active dialogue on the administration’s plans with regards to the congressionally-directed certification for the $300 million in FY2020 FMF funds conditioned on progress by the Egyptian government in addressing human rights abuses.

“Finally, we hope the administration will work with Congress to outline a comprehensive USG strategy to strengthen human rights vetting and monitoring related to all US military-to-military engagements and arms transfers with Egypt, including an assessment of whether actions by the Egyptian government constitute a pattern of intimidation or harassment against Americans as prohibited in the Arms Export Control Act.”