Egypt Received Apache Helicopters in November Not December: US State Department

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Egypt received a shipment of ten Apache helicopters from the US in November, a state department spokesperson said on Tuesday, denying media reports that they were delivered on Saturday.

“In August…we released ten Apache helicopters that had been held and they arrived in Egypt in November,” state department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said at a press briefing.

Media reports quoted a military source saying the army received the Apache helicopters this week.

Following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the US announced it would freeze part of its annual military aid, citing doubts over democratic reforms in the country.

Each year the US allocates around $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt, including $1.3 billion in military assistance.

Last week, however, the US congress passed new conditions granting the secretary of state more flexibility to approve aid to Egypt.

The appropriation bill for FY 2015, allows the secretary of state to bypass a set of restrictive conditions on assistance to Egypt for up to $725 million. The rest of the $1.4 billion allocated to Egypt this year is subject to “holding free and fair parliamentary elections, implementing laws or policies to govern democratically and protect the rights of individuals,” according to the bill.

“We welcome the flexibility that the bill provides to further our strategic relationship with Egypt and our national security interests. That said, there has been no policy decision with regards to our assistance program, which remains under review,” state department spokesperson Jen Psaki said last week.

Source: Ahram Online

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