Rubio wants Kerry to up pressure on Egypt
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The 2016 presidential contender joined with Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinIt's time to make access to quality kidney care accessible and equitable for all Charity game lets users bet on elections Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program MORE (D-Md.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents Manchin, Sanders to seek deal on Biden agenda Democrats struggle to gain steam on Biden spending plan MORE (D-Pa.), Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsManchin threatens 'zero' spending in blowup with Sanders: reports Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals Blinken pressed to fill empty post overseeing 'Havana syndrome' MORE (D-Del.) Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia Democrats look for plan B on filibuster GOP blocks Senate Democrats' revised elections bill MORE (D-Va.), Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission  Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (R-Ill.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral Meghan McCain: 'SNL' parodies made me feel like 'laughing stock of the country' Our military shouldn't be held hostage to 'water politics' MORE (R-Ariz.) to send a letter to Kerry on Monday ahead of next week's U.S.-Egypt Strategic Dialogue, pressing him to make political inclusion, human rights, and "fundamental freedoms" key to the discussions.  
 
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The bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote that they are "troubled" over developments in the country. 
 
"We are troubled by recent developments in Egypt that suggest the country is not on a path to long-term sustainable security or political inclusion," the senators say in the letter. "We are also concerned that recent U.S. policy and assistance decisions have been interpreted by the Egyptian government as an endorsement of the current political climate." 
 
While the lawmakers suggested that the administration's decision to lift holds on delivering military equipment, as well as providing security and economic assistance, were "critical," they added that U.S. support for Egypt must be matched by Cairo's "commitment to implementing a reform agenda."
 
"A key element of U.S. foreign policy has always been and must continue to be support for human rights, political reform, and civil society," the senators said. "In the U.S.-Egypt relationship, we are concerned that these core principles seem to be no longer a priority." 
 
The senators added that while Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi deserved "praise" for economic reforms, the government must also establish a plan for improving the living conditions of Egyptians. 
 
State Department Assistant Secretary Tom Malinowski suggested earlier this year while testifying before the Foreign Relations Committee that a crackdown in nonviolent opposition in Egypt was an example of "a blow for human rights."