U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has authorized the resumption of U.S. military aid to Egypt. She certified to Congress that Egypt is meeting its obligations under its peace treaty with Israel. In addition, Secretary Clinton waived a requirement that she certify Egypt’s protection of human rights on the basis of America’s national security interests.
“These decisions,” said State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland in a written statement, “reflect America’s overarching goal: to maintain our strategic partnership with an Egypt made stronger and more stable by a successful transition to democracy.”
Egypt has made progress toward democracy in the last fifteen months, including: free and fair parliamentary elections and the transfer of legislative authority to the new People’s Assembly, and a date announced for complete transition to civilian leadership. However, Egypt's transition to democracy is not yet complete. More work needs to be done to protect universal rights and freedoms.
Secretary Clinton’s decision to waive conditions for aid to Egypt is designed to demonstrate the strong U.S. support for Egypt’s role as a security partner in promoting regional stability and peace. Egypt has maintained thirty-plus years of peace with Israel. It contributes to efforts to stop proliferation and arms smuggling and facilitates missions from Afghanistan to counterterrorism in the Horn of Africa.
The U.S. is committed to supporting the Egyptian people as they strive for opportunity, rights, and freedoms for which they have sacrificed a great deal. That includes protection for civil society and non-governmental organizations, which have a critical role to play in building Egypt’s democracy. The U.S. remains deeply concerned regarding the trials of civil society activists and has urged the Egyptian government to stop the harassment.
As the political transition in Egypt continues, the U.S. looks forward to engaging with Egyptians on how to best support and advance the interests both countries share.
Egyptians are living through a remarkable time in their history. The United States affirms its support for the Egyptian people, for their accomplishments to date, for the democratic journey they are on and for the partnership between our two nations.