The talks between Leahy’s office and the State Department failed to resolve the issue, and the $75 million in funding expired on September 30…reports Asian Lite News
A senior Democratic senator blocked an additional $75 million in American military aid to Egypt over concerns about Cairo’s human rights record including holding political prisoners, according to media report.
Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, rejected an assessment offered by the US State Department to justify the aid, which was subject to conditions under a law passed by Congress last year. The committee has jurisdiction over spending legislation including U.S. financial assistance for Egypt, Reuters reported.
“We should take this law very seriously, because the situation facing political prisoners in Egypt is deplorable,” Leahy told Reuters in a statement.
Egypt has to make “clear and consistent progress” in releasing political prisoners and providing detainees with due process of law, according conditions set by the Congress, it was reported.
In September, the US State Department withheld $130 million of military aid to Egypt over human rights concerns, but said it would allow another $75 million to be paid, citing progress by the Egyptian government on political detentions and due process.
But Senator Leahy objected the decision by the State Department.
The talks between Leahy’s office and the State Department failed to resolve the issue, and the $75 million in funding expired on September 30, it was reported.