Egypt, US army officials discuss military ties in Cairo

Ahram Online, Wednesday 29 Jan 2014

Recent media reports suggest halted US aid to Egypt may soon be restored; US official says no decision reached

Egypt's chief of staff Sedki Sobhi (Photo: Ahram Arabic News Website)

Egypt’s Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Sedky Sobhy received on Wednesday Deputy Commander of the United States Central Command Mark Fox.

According to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website, the meeting -- attended by several Egyptian army officials and the acting US ambassador in Cairo -- tackled means of supporting and activating military cooperation and exchange of experiences between the two armed forces.

In October, Washington announced it would withhold deliveries of tanks, fighter aircrafts, helicopters and missiles, as well as $260 million in cash aid, to the interim government, pending progress in the areas of democracy and human rights. The decision came after the interim authorities launched a crackdown on Islamists, leaving hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members, leaders and sympathisers behind bars.

Washington has said, however, it would continue to endorse efforts to counter terrorism and the proliferation of weapons and support security measures in Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula.

Starting mid-January, several media reports suggested that the halted aid would be restored once the newly-amended Egyptian constitution is ratified as the US government had called upon Egypt to implement its self-declared transitional roadmap.

However, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki recently confirmed that no decision had yet been made and that the aid remained on hold.

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