US Waives Human Rights Conditions To Release $1.3BN In Military Aid To Sisi's Egypt

Aside from Saudi Arabia's MbS, the other long forgotten about Middle East autocratic ally of the United States known for arresting journalists, authors and activists is President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

The strongman known lately for aggressively cracking down on civil liberties, including muzzling journalists and throwing media figures and activists in jail, is also set to rule for another solid decade, given months ago Egyptian parliament approved constitutional changes to allow the sitting president to stay in power until 2030.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi

The US this week moved to waive human rights rules in order to vote through sending military aid to Egypt, totaling $1.3 billion.

The Middle East analysis news site Al-Monitor cited a human rights violation exemption waiver in reporting the release of the $1.3BN in aid.

US military aid to Egypt was set to expire Sept. 30 without the crucial waiver:

In a memo sent to Congress and obtained by Al-Monitor, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo waived human rights conditions that apply to $300 million in US aid, calling the Arab nation “important to the national security interests of the United States” for providing access to the Suez Canal, overflight rights and fighting terror in the Sinai desert and along its borders with Libya and Sudan.

Pompeo signed the waiver on August 8, and it was revealed for the first time on Thursday.

And of course there's the historic peace treaty with Israel, which is the real reason the United States has for years steadily given some 75% of its military aid to just two countries: Israel and Egypt.

The numbers designated for Israel and Egypt in this 2015 infographic have more or less stayed the same for years.

The Trump administration has lately stirred controversy by announcing plans to drastically decrease foreign aid around the globe, however, it's clearly unlikely that such reductions will ever come into play with Israel and Egypt.