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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will allow U.S. military aid to Egypt to continue despite Cairo’s failure to meet pro-democracy conditions, a senior State Department official said on Thursday, a move sharply criticized on Capitol Hill.

Clinton should “release no more taxpayer funds than is demonstrably necessary, withholding the rest in the (U.S.) Treasury pending further progress in the transition to democracy” in Egypt, Leahy said in a statement.

Congress has approved $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt – the same level the country has received for years – for the current fiscal year, which ends on September 30. Congress also approved $250 million in economic aid and up to $60 million for an “enterprise fund.”

But for the U.S. military aid to flow, the law requires Clinton to certify that the Egyptian government is supporting a transition to civilian government, including holding free and fair elections, and implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association, religion and due process of law.

Source: Susan Cornwell and Arshad Mohammed for Reuters

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