Biden administration approves arms sale to Egypt despite human rights concerns
The State Department said in a news release that the proposed sale of missiles and related equipment would “support the United States’ foreign policy and national security by helping to improve the security of a non-NATO ally. The key strategic partner in the Middle East . “
“The proposed sale will support the Egyptian Navy’s Fast Missile Craft ships and provide significant field defense capabilities on Egypt’s coastal areas and approaches to the Suez Canal,” the release said.
The proposed sale has spiked after continuing raids on the homes of relatives of Egyptian-American activist Mohammed Soltan, amid continuing concerns over Egypt’s human rights record. According to Solton’s nonprofit organization Freedom Initiative, two of his cousins were arbitrarily detained.
His lawyer Eric Lewis said, “Mohammed Soltan is paying attention to the inefficiency and disregard for human rights under the current Egyptian rule. Now the Egyptian regime is trying to arrest his relatives.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a press briefing on Tuesday that the State Department was looking into reports of these detections.
“We have and we continue to engage the Egyptian government on human rights concerns and we take all allegations of arbitrary arrests or detention seriously,” Price said. “We will bring our values with us in every relationship that we have worldwide. This includes our close security partners. This includes Egypt.”
The Biden administration has emphasized the importance of emphasizing human rights in foreign policy. However, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government has been accused of serious human rights abuses.