Secretary of State John Kerry delivered words of encouragement Friday for Egypt’s efforts to attract greater foreign investment, but no new military assistance as demanded by the country’s president.

Kerry’s hands are tied because the Obama administration is undecided about whether to affirm Egypt’s progress on democracy and human rights or issue a national security waiver. It must do one or other under the 2015 federal budget to unblock hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid for Egypt.

In the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, America’s top diplomat said investment was needed to restore confidence in Egypt and provide stability for the region. […]