Egypt Gets Two Missile Boats From US

  • Our Bureau
  • 12:04 PM, June 23, 2015
  • 2352

The US has provided Egypt with two fast missile boats that would contribute towards “ensuring regional security, countering terrorism, and protecting global commerce,” the US embassy in Cairo said Monday.

The embassy said in a statement that the two Fast Missile navy vessels reached the Mediterranean city of Alexandria on June 17. Egypt’s naval fleet of Fast Missile Craft is doubled after receiving the two US missile boats.

"The Fast Missile Craft directly supports maritime and regional security, which includes protecting vital waterways such as the Suez Canal and the Red Sea," Major General Charles Hooper, a senior defense official at the US embassy said.

In March, US President Barack Obama lifted an arms freeze on Egypt imposed on the African country following the 2013 military expulsion of Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected government.

In a phone conversation with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on March 31, the US president announced that he would allow 12 F-16 aircraft, 20 Harpoon missiles, and 125 M1A1 tank kits to be delivered to Cairo.

Following Morsi’s ouster, the US halted the transfer of F-16 fighter jets, M1A1 tank kits, Harpoon missiles and Apache helicopters to the Cairo government. The suspension of the US aid angered Egyptian authorities, resulted in troubled Washington-Cairo relations.

In December 2014, after intense negotiations between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Sisi, Egypt received 10 Apache helicopters from Washington to counter terrorist activities in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

Since the ouster of Morsi, assailants have been launching almost daily attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, killing members of security forces.

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