On Monday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken revealed that Egypt is launching a national human rights strategy, stressing that the United States and Egypt are working together to reform the pretrial detention system and protect press freedom and freedom of expression in the country.
And between Blinken: “There are also other issues of concern, and more areas in which positive steps can be taken, not only because the United States or others request this, but because it is … in the interest of the Egyptian people,” noting that Egypt has a lot of work to do in the field human rights,
“We have informed Egyptian leaders of specific steps that we have encouraged them to take,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters. Of course it was done secretly, but very clearly.”
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, speaking alongside Blinken earlier on Monday, responded that Sisi’s Egypt was making its way toward a more democratic state but that there should be equal attention to economic and social rights alongside political rights and civil liberties.
The two ministers met before an Egyptian-American strategic dialogue in Washington, in the first talks of their kind since US President Joe Biden took office, pledging to make human rights and democracy the focus of his foreign policy.
The United States announced in September that it would withhold $130 million in military aid to Egypt until the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took action on human rights.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that the meeting between Shoukry and Blinken dealt with the strategic partnership relations between the two countries, as well as regional and international issues of common interest.