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“The U.S. State Department on Tuesday approved a sprawling $2.5 billion arms sale to Egypt even as the Biden administration continues to withhold a far smaller sum of military aid—$130 million—over expressed concerns about human rights abuses by the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a disconnect that critics said makes a mockery of U.S. leaders’ rhetoric.
Authorized on the 11th anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the weapons sale includes 12 Super Hercules C-130 transport aircraft as well as $355 million worth of air defense radar systems. “Nothing says ‘the U.S. doesn’t care about your government’s oppression’ quite like announcing $2.5 billion in arms sales to Egypt on the anniversary of the January 25 Revolution,” Ben Freeman, a research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, wrote in response to the news.
Andrew Stroehlein, European Media director for Human Rights Watch, said the Biden administration is “encouraging and assisting Egypt’s torturers” by moving to funnel more arms to the authoritarian al-Sisi regime.”