- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The U.S. will restore military aid to Egypt, delivering F-16s and M1A1 Abrams tank kits that the Obama administration suspended in 2013, following the Egyptian government’s crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

Administration officials said Tuesday that President Obama has directed the release of 12 F-16s, 20 Harpoon missiles and up to 125 M1A1 tanks — equipment that current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has requested since the aid was cut off amid allegations that Mr. el-Sisi had run an unlawful coup against the Morsi government.

Mr. Morsi had been Egypt’s first-ever democratically elected leader following the Arab Spring overthrow of longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

In addition to releasing the hard equipment on Tuesday, Obama administration National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said Mr. Obama has decided to restore some $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt. The aid had been cut by roughly $700 million in August 2013.

“The United States has had a decades-long strategic relationship with Egypt,” Mrs. Meehan said in a statement. “Following the events of August 2013, President Obama ordered a comprehensive review of our security assistance to Egypt. … Now that the process has been completed, the administration will use the flexibility provided by Congress in legislation this fiscal year to provide additional military assistance to Egypt.”

Tuesday’s announcement by the White House came roughly a month after Egyptian fighter jets pounded Islamic State targets in neighboring Libya. It also follows the Egyptian government’s commitment during recent days to militarily support Saudi Arabian forces, who opened a military campaign against Iran-backed rebel’s in Yemen last week.

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