The US announced that they will begin delivering a dozen promised Apache helicopters to Egypt, as well as relaxing the suspension of military aid that was cancelled after Egypt’s military coup, which deposed the elected Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi.
Egypt receives $1.3 billion in annual military aid from the US for maintaining the peace treaty with Israel.
U.S. law required the aid be stopped after the military coup.
Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress that Egypt has met some of its criteria for resuming aid, including, “upholding its obligations under the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.”
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said of Kerry, “He is certifying to Congress that Egypt is sustaining the strategic relationship with the United States.”
Full statement of Jen Psaki:
“Today, Secretary Kerry spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Fahmy to inform him that he is certifying to Congress that Egypt is sustaining the strategic relationship with the United States – including by countering transnational threats such as terrorism and weapons proliferation – and that Egypt is upholding its obligations under the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. He reaffirmed that Egypt remains, as it has been for decades, an important strategic partner for the United States. The Secretary noted that he is not yet able to certify that Egypt is taking steps to support a democratic transition. He urged Egypt to follow through on its commitment to transition to democracy – including by conducting free, fair, and transparent elections, and easing restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, and the media – as Egypt will be more secure and prosperous if it respects the universal rights of its citizens.”
Kerry is planning to meet Egypt’s intelligence chief today, Wednesday, according to Al-Ahram.
On Tuesday, JewishPress.com reported that Egypt and Russia were set to sign an “unprecedented” deal, involving the sale 24 of Russia’s most advance fighter jets, the MiG-35, to Egypt, in a $3 Billion dollar deal, which comes in the footsteps of a $2 Billion dollar deal in February.
It was not clear who would actually be paying for these jets, much less when they would actually be ready to be delivered.
It would appear that Egypt played a masterful game of chicken, and the US (wisely) blinked first, rather than risk completely losing Egypt to a Russian bear hug.