Secretary of State Meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amidst Continued Religious Freedom Concerns
11/11/2021 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – This week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Washington to discuss the alliance between their two countries, facing tensions over Egypt’s continued abuses of religious freedom and human rights. Although many expected human rights to improve in the north African country following the lifting of Egypt’s four-and-a-half-year long state of emergency, human rights have yet to improve, causing some alarm to U.S. officials.
During the meeting between Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Shoukry, the two parties discussed the development of the U.S.-Egypt bilateral relationship, highlighting human rights conditions in Egypt.
According to State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, Blinken reaffirmed President Biden’s “commitment that human rights will be central to U.S. foreign policy and welcomed the chance to discuss Egypt’s human rights goals.” The statement comes just months after the United States threatened to withhold military aid from Egypt unless it reached certain human rights benchmarks put forth in private meetings between the two countries’ delegates.
During the state of emergency, Egyptian authorities detained citizens under laws that inhibited the rights of human rights activists and members of the minority Coptic Christian community and tried them in emergency courts. However, many of these activists, such as Coptic Christian Patrick Zaki, remain in prison despite the end of the state of emergency.
With this most recent meeting between U.S. and Egyptian officials, the Biden administration seems poised to tackle this issue and hold Egypt accountable for its human rights violations.
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