Egypt Receives Eight F-16 Block 52 Aircraft from the U.S.

05.08.2015 Egypt
Egypt Receives Eight F-16 Block 52 Aircraft from the US

Egypt Receives Eight F-16 Block 52 Aircraft from the US

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The United States delivered eight F-16 Block 52 aircraft to Cairo, as a part of its commitment to upgrade Egypt’s military might in light of current terrorist threats, the US Embassy in Cairo said Thursday.

According to a statement published on the Embassy’s official website, the jets were flown directly from the United States and were due to arrive at Cairo West Air Base on July 30 and 31.

“Extremists threaten regional security and these weapon systems provide a new tool to help Egypt fight terrorism,” US Embassy Senior Defense Official in Cairo Major General Charles Hooper said, as quoted on the Embassy’s website.

Following the overthrow of then Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi in 2013, relations between Washington and Cairo became strained, with the United States limiting its support to the Egyptian government and suspending the previously-agreed delivery of 10 Apache helicopters to Cairo.

However, in April 2015, the US administration decided to resume its $1.3 billion-a-year program of upgrading the Egyptian military.

According to the Embassy’s statement, the US will deliver four more F-16 fighter jets to Cairo in the fall.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that Washington “will continue to provide robust training to the Egyptian military” in order to build capacity and professionalism to efficiently combat terrorism.

Earlier in the day, Kerry, who began his Middle East tour on Saturday, arrived in Cairo to meet with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukri and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. It is the first leadership-level meeting between the two countries since 2009.

Washington “will continue to provide robust training to the Egyptian military” in order to build capacity and professionalism to efficiently combat terrorism, Kerry said at the meeting in Cairo.

Source: AFP; Reuters

 

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