US waives condition on $1.3B in aid to Egypt

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has waived the conditional human rights string attached to Egypt’s $1.3 billion in U.S. military support for 2013.

In a letter to Congress last month, Secretary of State John Kerry noted the Egyptian military’s long partnership in promoting Mideast peace. He said aid helps protect Egypt’s borders, Suez Canal shipping and Israeli security against extremists in Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula.

After Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in 2011, Congress mandated that assistance to Egypt be conditional on progress in on a democratic transition there. However, it allowed the administration to waive the requirement on national security grounds.

Kerry’s notification was first reported by the Daily Beast.

The U.S. has cited some democratic progress, but has consistently criticized the government’s crackdown on democracy advocates and freedom of expression.

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