Sen. Kaine joins calls to freeze aid to Egypt

The Obama administration has decided not to label last month's ouster of President Mohamed Morsi a coup, which would trigger an automatic aid freeze. A number of lawmakers — including Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyLawmakers talk climate for Earth Day, Science March Poll: Sanders most popular senator in the US Senate Dems offer bill to restore internet privacy rules MORE (D-Vt.), John McCainJohn McCainMeghan McCain: Obama 'a dirty capitalist like the rest of us' Top commander: Don't bet on China reining in North Korea Trudeau, Trump speak for second night about US-Canada trade MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamTop admiral: North Korea crisis is 'worst I've seen' Comey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee Overnight Defense: US moving missile defense system to South Korea | Dems want justification for Syria strike | Army pick pushes back against critics of LGBT record MORE (R-S.C.) — have called for aid to be withheld until Egypt restores democracy.

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In a statement, Kaine laid out several conditions that should be met before assistance is restored:
  1. a clear commitment to hold democratic, credible elections that are free, fair, and transparent, consistent with international norms, and inclusive of all Egyptians;
  2. political and religious freedoms of all Egyptians are protected, including women and religious minorities; 
  3. civil society is allowed to operate openly and freely; 
  4. all international agreements and treaties are upheld; and 
  5. counter terrorism and security cooperation continue, including securing the Sinai and countering smuggling into Gaza.

“I do not make this decision lightly,” Kaine said. “I understand the complexities and depth of our relationship with Egypt, especially with regard to our assistance package.

“I hope the democratic transition in Egypt gets back on track for the sake of the Egyptian people, the region, and United States interests. I look forward to working with the Administration on a thorough policy review.”

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