FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 10, 2022
Contact: Press_Paul@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Member Rand Paul (R-KY) urged the Senate to support his bipartisan joint resolution of disapproval to block a proposed $2.2 billion U.S. arms sale to Egypt.
“The United States cannot proudly affirm human rights to be at the center of our foreign policy, while it arms a regime at war with its own people,” said Dr. Paul. “That is why I forced the Senate to vote on a resolution that would cancel the latest military sale to Egypt’s criminal masters. Partially taking away some military aid while offering new sales is weakness in the face of repression. Mere slaps on the wrist cannot hide the inescapable fact that the United States has handsomely rewarded Egypt as it degenerated into one of the most autocratic places on the globe. America should in no uncertain terms demonstrate that we will no longer strengthen a strongman.”
“At a time when America purports to be leading the world’s democracies, we should not be selling arms to an authoritarian dictatorship that regularly violates human rights through repression and torture. These weapons could also destabilize the region, including destabilizing Egypt as the regime spends money on weapons that will be needed to maintain food supplies in the face of severe inflation driven by the Ukraine crisis,” said Marcus Stanley, Advocacy Director for Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
“Given the Constitutional, strategic, and ethical dimensions in play, we applaud Senator Paul’s effort to force a Senate vote on the latest military sale to Egypt. First and foremost, it is incumbent upon Congress to restore the balance mandated in the Constitution between the executive branch and Congress on foreign policy. Second, much-needed Congressional deliberation will force President Biden to justify this sale publicly and make the case that it advances American national interests—not just the junta in Cairo and the domestic defense industry’s bottom line. Finally, Congress should welcome this vote to mandate oversight and assurances that this sale will not enable further human rights violations in Egypt,” said Russ Duerstine, Deputy Director of Concerned Veterans for America.
“Victims of Egypt’s brutal regime, as well as advocates for democracy across the world, are grateful to Rand Paul for once again taking this courageous stand against U.S. support for authoritarianism,” said Erik Sperling, Executive Director of Just Foreign Policy. “Those Senators who support the Biden administration’s efforts to arm the Egyptian dictatorship should, at a minimum, be transparent with the American people. Thanks to Senator Rand Paul forcing this vote, we will get to see which Senators stand for democracy and which Senators stand with Egypt human rights violators.”
“The Senate should block this arms sale because of the ongoing human rights violations by the Egyptian government,” said Raed Jarrar, Advocacy Director for Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN). “Just last month, the Biden administration cut over $100 million in military aid to Egypt because of its shameful human rights record. The State Department’s most recent human rights report on Egypt lists horrific crimes, including extrajudicial killings, forced disappearance, torture, politically motivated reprisal against individuals located outside the country, and indefinite detention of tens of thousands of political prisoners. It is time to send a clear message to Egypt and other governments: the U.S. will not provide weapons to dictators and abusive regimes anywhere around the world.”
Since 2009, the United States has sold Egypt $3.2 billion in fighter aircraft, $1.3 billion in tanks and armored vehicles, $750 million in missiles, $369 million in munitions, $328 million in military technology, and $240 million in naval craft.
The U.S. also gives Egypt $1.3 billion in military aid annually. Of that, Congress has put human-rights-related conditions on $300 million. The Biden administration decided to withhold $130 million due to human rights concerns. However, within days of making the determination to withhold this military assistance, the Biden administration announced that it would move forward with two separate arms sales to Egypt worth over $2 billion. The Biden administration could not certify that Egypt had taken steps to improve their human rights record, yet they are still planning on selling $2 billion worth of military weapons to the regime.
President Biden pledged to put human rights at “the center of our foreign policy.” Torture of children. Arbitrary arrests of dissidents and journalists. Sham elections and the violent crushing of peaceful opposition. If these are not gross violations of human rights, nothing is.
Dr. Paul’s resolution to cancel military sales offers a choice — whether the United States will side with the Egyptian people, or with their oppressors.