The POMED Wire

Overview of Recent Developments with U.S. Aid to Egypt

September 20, 2017 Recent Trump administration decisions on existing Egypt aid On August 22, citing human rights-related concerns reportedly centered on Egypt’s clampdown on civil society groups, the Trump administration stated that it was cutting $65.7 million of Egypt’s Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and $30 million of FY16 Economic Support Funds (ESF) and would reprogram the funds for use elsewhere The administration also said it would delay Egypt’s ability to make use of $195 million in FY16 FMF until it addresses (unspecified) U.S. concerns on human rights and democracy and Egypt’s ties with North Korea. This

Experts Call for Release of Bahá’í Prisoners, End to Persecution in Yemen

In a letter addressed to Abdulmalik al-Houthi, the leader of Yemen’s Houthi rebel group, 19 academics, regional experts, and civil society leaders called for the release of Bahá’í prisoners held by Houthi forces in Yemen and urged al-Houthi to end the persecution of the group. The letter states: “In the context of a country that has been ravaged by violent conflict in recent years and is now facing the threat of starvation and epidemic, the oppression of an innocent, peaceful, and service-oriented community of a few thousand members is not only cruel and unjust but also bewildering. The ongoing efforts

Egypt’s North Korea Connection

August 10, 2017 By Daniel Leone Egypt watchers noticed an unusual reference to North Korea in the readout of President Donald Trump’s July 5 call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The White House statement said, “The two presidents also discussed the threat from North Korea. President Trump stressed the need for all countries to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea, stop hosting North Korean guest workers, and stop providing economic or military benefits to North Korea.”    In fact, ties between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Egypt go back decades, and Egypt has

The Tiran and Sanafir Islands Deal: A Political Test for al-Sisi

July 7, 2017 Daniel Leone On June 24, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified [Ar] a controversial maritime demarcation agreement that cedes Egyptian control over the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. This step followed the Egyptian Parliament’s June 15 approval [Ar] of the agreement. The transfer of sovereignty has struck a nationalist nerve among many Egyptians, provoking public criticism and sparking street protests rare in al-Sisi’s repressive system. It could place Egypt’s highest court in direct opposition to Parliament and the President. President al-Sisi first announced the agreement to transfer the islands to Saudi Arabia

Egypt on the Hill: Criticism, Praise, and Policy

June 28, 2017 Christian Bischoff The issue of U.S. policy toward Egypt has come up in four congressional hearings held in the past two weeks.[1] Members of Congress and Trump administration officials have discussed President Donald J. Trump’s strong support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi; the repressive new NGO law ratified by al-Sisi last month; the potential designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO); and U.S. military and economic aid to Egypt.   The Trump administration’s proposed assistance to Egypt in the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget includes $75 million in economic aid, a proposed