Arms deals with Egypt to continue, says US

Reuters, Saturday 11 Jun 2011

A Pentagon official confirms that arms deals with Egypt will not be affected by the revolution

US arms sales to Egypt have been unaffected by the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February, the Pentagon official in charge of carrying out such programs said on Friday.

"We continue to do with Egypt what we we were doing before the Arab Spring," Vice Admiral William Landay, head of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, told reporters at the Pentagon.

He declined to discuss the status of pending deals with other Middle East countries amid the unrest that has shaken the region from Tunisia to Bahrain and Yemen.

"Egypt specifically, I'll answer that one," Landay said in reply to a question. "There has been no change in what we were doing before" the 18-day uprising that toppled Mubarak on 11 February.

Two of the biggest regional deals in the works also have been cleared to proceed by the United States. They are a $29.4 billion sale of 84 Boeing F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia and a $7 billion sale to the United Arab Emirates of an advanced missile defense system built by Lockheed Martin Corp, said Richard Genaille, the security cooperation agency's deputy director, in April.

The U.S. Defense Department expects arms exports that it manages to top $46 billion in fiscal year 2011, which ends 30 September. The figure is up from $31.6 billion the previous year, driven by international tensions and strong demand for proven technology.

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