The United States has unlocked some, but not all, of the military aid to Egypt that it froze last year due to widespread unrest in that nation, said Secretary of State John Kerry. Delivery of 10 AH-64 attack helicopters will take place soon, said Kerry in remarks with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo on June 22 following Kerry’s meeting with newly elected Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi. Those assets are expected to boost the Egyptian government’s counter-terror operations in the Sinai Peninsula. In addition, Congress approved the release of approximately $575 million of the $650 million in foreign military financing for Egypt that the Obama Administration requested, said senior State Department officials on June 21. Most of those funds are going to sustainment of systems that the Egyptians already operate, as well as training, they said. While those transfers are going forward, Pentagon spokesman Navy Cmdr. Bill Speaks told Air Force Magazine on Monday that the handover of Egypt’s new-build F-16 fighters is still on hold. (Kerry-Shoukry transcript) (State Department background briefing)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.