Clinton informs Congress about Egypt aid decision

MATTHEW LEE
Associated Press
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks with reporters at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, March 21, 2012, following a meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has notified Congress of her decision to waive democracy requirements on $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid to Egypt.

The State Department says Clinton sent the notification to Capitol Hill on Friday, a day after she briefed lawmakers on the decision.

The step has been criticized by some as ignoring democratic backsliding and human rights violations by Egypt's military leaders.

Congressional sources and a senior Obama administration official had confirmed the decision on Thursday.

Clinton determined that it was in the U.S. national interest to allow $1.3 billion in military assistance to flow. She also certified that Egypt is meeting its obligations to the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, which frees up an additional $200 million in economic aid.