President Joe Biden’s administration expressed concern about the Egyptian government’s human rights record Tuesday, especially after family members of a U.S. citizen and human rights activist were detained. But hours later, the State Department announced the sale of nearly $200 million of weapons to Cairo — the first substantial arms transfer to the Middle East in Biden’s young term.
The case has become a test of how Biden will approach the government of President Abdel Fattah el Sisi, the former military commander who seized power in 2014 and ousted Egypt’s elected Islamist government.
Egypt has long been a key U.S. partner in the region and the recipient of substantial U.S. military assistance. But Sisi’s increasingly authoritarian rule has provoked vocal criticism from human rights advocates, some U.S. lawmakers and Egyptians, who at times have taken to the streets to protest despite Sisi’s brutal crackdowns on dissent.
Three cousins of American-Egyptian activist Mohamed Soltan, a…
— to abcnews.go.com