US to send Egypt Apache helicopters in November: Kerry

Ahram Online, Monday 13 Oct 2014

In a meeting with President Sisi, Kerry discussed human rights, investment and counterterrorism strategy

In this photo provided by Egypt's state news agency MENA, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, meets with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Ahmed Foad, MENA)

The United States will send Apache helicopters to Egypt in November, said US Secretary of State John Kerry Monday at a meeting Monday with President El-Sisi in the presence of foreign minister Sameh Shokry, reported Egypt's official state news agency MENA.

Kerry also said that a group of investors will visit Egypt the same month to study available investment opportunities, as Kerry made clear US intentions to assist Egypt to grow and prosper economically.

Kerry broached human rights during the meeting as well.

"The Secretary also emphasised the importance of a vibrant civil society and giving all Egyptians space to make their voices heard," a State Department official said.

The US had planned to deliver ten Apache helicopters to Egypt to support Cairo's counterterrorism efforts, according to words exchanged between US defense secretary Chuck Hagel and Egyptian defense minister Sedki Sobhy in late September.

The US announced in April that it had decided to lift its hold on the delivery of the attack helicopters to Egypt, imposed last year after the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

On Sunday Kerry also participated in the donor conference for Gaza in Cairo.

The secretary acknowledged Egypt's effective role in organising the conference and making it a success, as well as assuming responsibility to establish stability in the region after its efforts to achieve a ceasefire and truce during the most recent Israeli raid on Gaza, Ambassador Alaa Youssef, presidency spokesperson told MENA.

President El-Sisi assured that it is important to reach a lasting agreement for the Palestinian case to end the repetitive clashes between Palestinian and the Israeli sides. He also highlighted the importance of ending the suffering of the Palestinian people and achieving their dream for an independent state.

Kerry and El-Sisi also discussed regional matters like the situations in Iraq, Syria and Libya, as well as counterterrorism methods.

The two leaders agreed that a counterterrorism plan should address both military and security solutions as well as developmental solutions at economic and social levels.

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