US secretary of the air force talks training opportunities with Egyptian military officials

Ahram Online , Monday 16 Nov 2015

Secretary Deborah Lee James held talks with Egypt's Minister of Defense Sedky Sobhi and Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy during her visit to Cairo

Egypt's minister of defense Sedky Sobhi with US secretary of air forces Deborah Lee James (Photo: Egyptian armed forces spokesperson official Facebook page)

US Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James spoke with Egyptian military officials about the opportunities for future military training for Egyptian troops during her visit to Cairo earlier this week, the US embassy in Cairo said in a Saturday statement.

James' visit, which involved meetings with Minister of Defense Sedky Sobhi, Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy and naval commander Younes El-Masry, comes as the US and Egypt are finalising an arms deal involving the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Egypt.

"As we finished delivering the F-16 air fighters to Egypt, we spoke about how our air forces can work together in order to defeat terrorism and the possibility to train pilots in the future," James said in the statement.

James is currently touring the Middle East with visits to Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar and Morocco in order to increase security cooperation with the US against terrorism.

The United States delivered to Egypt eight F-16 fighter jets in July and four others in October as a part of a $3.2 billion deal Egypt signed with the US in 2009.

The deal stipulates that Egypt should receive a total of 20 F-16 Block 52 aircraft, eight of which were delivered in 2013. US military aid was restored this year after being suspended following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

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