Secretary of State John Kerry quietly sends $1.3B to Egypt, waiving U.S. law: memo
The Washington Times
Story by : Cheryl K. Chumley
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has quietly sent $1.3 billion of military assistance to Egypt — controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood — in defiance of congressional restrictions on dollars going to countries that haven’t yet complied with standards of democracy, a memo revealed.
U.S. law says that Mr. Kerry should have first ensured that Egypt was on the path toward structured, civilian-based governance — including open, fair elections and policies that uphold basic human rights, like freedom of expression and religion — before sending the money, Reuters reported.
A May 9 memo from Mr. Kerry indicated the country had not yet met that standard.
In it, Mr. Kerry said, “we are not satisfied with the extent of Egypt’s progress and are pressing for a more inclusive democratic process and strengthening of key democratic institutions,” The Blaze reported. And just this week, an Egyptian court sentenced 43 nongovernment organization workers, including 16 Americans, to jail sentences of up to five years for working in groups that weren’t registered with the government — even though those groups were involved in democracy building efforts.
Mr. Kerry, nonetheless, pushed through the aid package.
His memo was never released to the public, The Blaze reported.
“A strong U.S. security partnership with Egypt, underpinned by [Foreign Military Financing], maintains a channel to Egyptian military leadership, who are key opinion makers in the country. A decision to waive restrictions on FMF to Egypt is necessary to uphold these interests as we encourage Egypt to continue its transition to democracy,” he wrote, The Blaze reported.
Stephen McInerney, executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy, said in The Daily Beast that it was “very alarming that no public statement was made … with the waiving of these conditions.”