US State Dept. approves Potential Sale of Hellfire Missiles to Egypt

US State Department has approved the sale of US$57 million in Hellfire missiles to Egypt, spokesman Jeff Rathke said Friday.

“This is part of our counterterrorism cooperation with Egypt,” he said.

Before the sale of the missiles is allowed, Congress must give final approval.

Earlier this week, the State Department said Egypt requested the sale of 356 Hellfire missiles, along with repair parts and logistical and program support.

The request came amid a Saudi-led intervention in Yemen in which Cairo plays a crucial role, and the missiles will be used by Egypt due to “regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense,” the State Department said at the time of the request.

Washington has blocked military assistance to Egypt following a July 3, 2013, military coup led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi against the country’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi. 

President Barack Obama said last week that he would release the hold on military assistance to Egypt, after nearly two years.

Obama also pledged to request from Congress US$1.3 billion in annual military assistance for Egypt.

The funding will allow Egypt to remain the second largest recipient of U.S. foreign military funding, behind only Israel.

Source: DPA & Anadolu Agency