WASHINGTON, April 23, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel informed his Egyptian counterpart yesterday that Secretary of State John F. Kerry soon will certify to Congress that Egypt is sustaining the strategic relationship with the United States and is meeting its obligations under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.
In a statement summarizing Hagel’S phone call to Egyptian Defense Minister Col. Gen. Sedki Sobhy, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said these certifications are required to obligate fiscal year 2014 funds for assistance to the Egyptian government.
“Secretary Hagel told General Sobhy that we are not yet able to certify that Egypt is taking steps to support a democratic transition,” Kirby said, “and he urged the Egyptian government to demonstrate progress on a more inclusive transition that respects the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Egyptians.”
Hagel also informed Sobhy of President Barack Obama's decision to deliver 10 Apache helicopters in support of Egypt’s counterterrorism operations in the Sinai, Kirby said.
“The secretary noted that we believe these new helicopters will help the Egyptian government counter extremists who threaten U.S., Egyptian, and Israeli security,” he added. “This is one element of the president’s broader efforts to work with partners across the region to build their capacity to counter terrorist threats, and is in the United States’ national security interest.”