CAIRO: The Committee on Appropriation of the U.S. House of Representatives passed Friday a Fiscal Year 2016 bill on foreign operations that resumes giving Egypt the annual $1.5 billion in aid.
“The bill provides economic and security assistance to the Government of Egypt, only if it continues to sustain its strategic partnership with the United States and adheres to the peace treaty with Israel. Reporting requirements are included regarding Egypt’s democratic transition,” the committee said in a Friday statement.
The U.S. aid to Egypt was stated in the 1979 Peace treaty with Israel; The Washington Institute said that both Egypt and Israel have been the largest recipients of U.S. foreign aid since then.
Following the dispersal of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Squares in August 2013, the relations between Egypt and U.S. soured when part of aid suspended in August 2013. However, the ties have been improved and U.S. has gradually unsuspended the partial aid.
The Congress decision makers highlighted that Egypt is “strategic ally” to the U.S. interests in the region and providing the American aid is necessary to combat terrorism in Sinai and the region, particularly against the Islamic State (IS) group.
A U.S. delegation from the House of Representatives visited Cairo March 7 told President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi they are supporting Egypt against “terrorism” in Sinai and along its border with Libya, said Presidential spokesperson Alaa Youssef in a statement.
Chairperson of the Appropriations subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations Kay Granger recently sent U.S. President Barack Obama a letter calling on him to provide Egypt and Jordan with fighter jets to combat the IS militants, Reuters reported Feb. 20.