Egyptian flag
Egyptian flagiStock

The Biden administration will withhold $130 million in assistance to Egypt over its failure to meet certain human rights requirements, senior State Department officials told reporters on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.

The officials added that the administration will still allow about $1 billion in aid to go forward.

The $130 million, roughly the same as last year, represents a little less than half of $300 million in fiscal year 2021 funds that Congress had conditioned on Egypt making improvements to its human rights record, the officials said, speaking to reporters on customary condition of anonymity.

Egypt will receive $75 million on the basis that it released some 500 political prisoners and established a “national political dialogue” to examine issues like pre-trial detention, according to the officials.

The US has provided Egypt $1.3 billion in military aid annually, of which $300 million is attached to certain conditions.

Earlier this year, the Biden administration cancelled $130 million in military aid to Egypt, saying it had not met the conditions to receive the financing.

US-Egypt ties were strained under the Obama administration, which suspended American military aid to Egypt following the 2013 ouster of former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, before releasing it two years later.

Following the election of Donald Trump, however, ties improved. Sisi praised Trump after his election and said he expected greater engagement in the Middle East from his administration.

In 2021, Biden's administration called Egypt a "constructive" defense partner despite concerns on human rights.

Even though it has withheld military aid to Egypt, the administration has approved arms sales to the country.

In January, the State Department approved $2.5 billion in proposed arms sales to Egypt, including several aircraft and air defense radar systems.

A year earlier, the Biden administration approved the sale of 168 tactical missiles to Egypt, subject to congressional review.