U.S. to resume military aid to Egypt, deliver helicopters
Washington has been critical of Egypt's crackdown on dissent, but is planning to restore military aid nonetheless (Mahmoud Khaled/AFP)
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Agence France Presse reported Wednesday that the U.S. will lift its freeze on military aid to Cairo and deliver Apache helicopters to Egypt.
Washington will send 10 such helicopters to Egypt in an effort to "bolster counter terrorism operations in Sinai," according to U.S. officials.
" [Defense] secretary [Chuck Hagel] noted that we believe these new helicopters will help the Egyptian government counter extremists who threaten U.S., Egyptian, and Israeli security," the statement from the Pentagon said.
The Pentagon described its renewed relations with Cairo as part of "broader U.S. efforts" to help MENA countries combat terrorism, according to AFP.
Washington previously froze aid relations with Cairo in response to what the White House described as its "displeasure" with Egyptian authorities' crackdown on the government opposition. The freeze targeted military deliveries along with related hardware.
The Pentagon remains somewhat skeptical of Egypt's current leadership and transition, with Hagel telling the minister that Washington is "not yet able to certify that Egypt is taking steps to support a democratic transition....[we] urge the Egyptian government to demonstrate progress on a more inclusive transition that respects the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Egyptians."