US President Barack Obama lifts weapons ban on Egypt

Defence & Security News - USA, Egypt
US President Obama lifts weapons ban on Egypt
As the government in Cairo considers military actions against extremists in Yemen and Libya, President Obama, on Tuesday March 31, lifted an arms freeze against Egypt that he had first imposed after the military overthrow of the country’s democratically elected government nearly two years ago.
US President Barack Obama lifts weapons ban on EgyptEgyptian M1A1 Abrams have been deployed in the streets during the Arab Spring in 2011

US president Barack Obama spoke with Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi regarding the US-Egyptian military assistance relationship and regional developments, including in Libya and Yemen. President Obama informed President al-Sisi that he will lift executive holds that have been in place since October 2013 on the delivery of F-16 aircraft, Harpoon missiles, and M1A1 tank kits. The President also advised President al-Sisi that he will continue to request an annual $1.3 billion (€1.2 billion) in military assistance for Egypt. Beginning in fiscal year 2018, the President noted that we will channel US security assistance for Egypt to four categories – counterterrorism, border security, Sinai security, and maritime security – and for sustainment of weapons systems already in Egypt's arsenal.

The President explained that these and other steps will help refine our military assistance relationship so that it is better positioned to address the shared challenges to US and Egyptian interests in an unstable region, consistent with the longstanding strategic partnership between our two countries. President Obama also reiterated US concerns about Egypt's continued imprisonment of non-violent activists and mass trials. He encouraged increased respect for freedom of speech and assembly and emphasized that these issues remain a focus for the United States. The two leaders agreed to stay in touch in the weeks and months ahead.

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