US Military Delegation Arrives in Cairo for Talks on Military Cooperation

A US military delegation has arrived in Egypt to hold talks on military cooperation between both countries.  Egypt’s Minister of Defence Sedky Sobhy held talks with Vincent Stewart, head of the US military’s Defense Intelligence Authority (DIA) in Cairo, discussing military cooperation between the two countries.

In the same context, head of an official military delegation Vincent Stewart also met Egypt’s military chief of staff Mahmoud Hegazy, tackling issues of bilateral security cooperation and exchanging military expertise. The bilateral talks were attended by Stephan Beecfort, the US ambassador to Egypt, and other Egyptian military commanders.

Despite the human rights crackdown and political suppression in Egypt, the US continues providing Egypt with annual military aid worth $1.3 billion. The military aid was resumed after being suspended temporarily. In October 2013, the United States announced the suspension of its aid to Egypt after the violent government’s crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. However, the Obama administration resumed the US aid to Cairo In March 2015, despite its continuing criticism and “concerns” over Egypt’s human rights record. Moreover, several bilateral visits and meetings have been held between both countries in the recent period. In addition, Egypt has received the first batch of 762 (MRAP) Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles. The batch is on the top of the US military aid to Abdel Fatah al-Sissi this year.

A recent report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated that there are gaps in the implementation of end-use monitoring programs that provide reasonable assurance that military equipment transferred or exported to foreign governments is used for its legitimate intended purposes and does not come into the possession of individuals or groups who pose a threat to the United States or its allies, However, the GAO said in its report released on May 12 that the Obama administration has often failed to meet those requirements due to resistance from their Egyptian counterparts, lack of guidance from Washington and insufficient staffing at the US Embassy in Cairo.