Few nations have had steadily better relations with President Trump than Egypt’s military junta. Trump has been very close with Egypt’s ruler Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, and declared himself to “strongly back” Sisi‘s continued leadership.
Recent cuts to Egypt’s massive annual US military aid payments, then, come as something of a surprise. US officials have cited “human rights concerns,” but those aren’t exactly new in Egypt, and never bothered the administration before now.
Rather, the speculation is that the aid cuts center heavily on Egypt’s military having limited ties to North Korea’s military. America’s increasing interest in isolating North Korea has become to top priority, and this time it hit Egypt.
While Egypt’s junta has long expected US aid as an annual payment irrespective of policy moves, this is almost certain to lead to Egypt ending its North Korea ties, a move much more likely to placate the US than any human rights reforms ever could.
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