Rubio wants Kerry to up pressure on Egypt
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The 2016 presidential contender joined with Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinWarren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses Overnight Energy: EPA moves to raise ethanol levels in gasoline | Dems look to counter White House climate council | Zinke cleared of allegations tied to special election Democrats offer legislation to counter White House climate science council MORE (D-Md.), Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyTrump officials take bold steps on Medicaid Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Trump health chief reveals talks with states on Medicaid block grants | New head of FDA faces tough test | Trump officials defends work requirements in court Trump health chief reveals talks with states on Medicaid block grants MORE (D-Pa.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate Dem calls on Trump to apologize for attacks on McCain Sixteen years later, let's finally heed the call of the 9/11 Commission  Senate Dems introduce bill demanding report on Khashoggi killing MORE (D-Del.) Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDem senator wants Trump to extend immigration protections to Venezuelans Pentagon sends Congress list of projects that could lose funds to Trump's emergency declaration The Hill's Morning Report - 2020 Dems grapple with race, gender and privilege MORE (D-Va.), Mark KirkMark Steven KirkThe global reality behind 'local' problems Dems vow swift action on gun reform next year This week: Trump heads to Capitol Hill MORE (R-Ill.) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral Trump's approval rating stable at 45 percent GOP senator: Trump's criticism of McCain 'deplorable' 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."