The Egyptian army’s chief of staff Lieutenant General Sedki Sobhi met on Thursday with Lieutenant General John Hesterman, US Air Forces Central Commander for Southwest Asia, along with his accompanying delegation.
Sobhi and Hesterman discussed a number of issues concerning military cooperation between Egypt and the US, according to the Facebook page of Egypt’s army spokesman Ahmed Ali.
Egypt is the second largest recipient of US aid after Israel, receiving more than $2 billion in financial aid each year, with the majority going to the military.
However, the bulk of this aid and major military hardware have been frozen following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in July, as US officials have expressed concern over Egypt’s commitment to democratic transition and the alleged mistreatment of political prisoners.
This week US President Barack Obama denied an urgent request from Egyptian army officials for the delivery of 10 Apache attack helicopters that they say are needed to fight a growing Islamic insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that ending US aid to Egypt could provoke further “chaos” in the strife-ridden country.
Other US senators have also spoken of the importance of continuing US aid to Egypt.
In February, army chief Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with a US Congress delegation led by Representative Mike Rogers, who has been arguing for the resumption of the aid since Morsi’s ouster on the grounds that Egypt is a stabilising force in the region.
Source: Ahram Online