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U.S. to deliver attack helicopters to Egypt

Staff writer |
The United States will deliver 10 Apache attack helicopters to Egypt, relaxing a partial suspension of aid imposed after Egypt's military ousted President Mohamed Mursi last year and cracked down violently on protesters.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel informed his Egyptian counterpart of the decision, which will help Egypt's counter-terrorism operations in the Sinai Peninsula, the Pentagon said.

"We believe these new helicopters will help the Egyptian government counter extremists who threaten U.S., Egyptian, and Israeli security," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement, recounting Hagel's conversation with Egyptian Defense Minister Colonel Sedki Sobhi.

Secretary of State John Kerry had paved the way by certifying to Congress that Egypt met key criteria for Washington to resume some aid.

Those criteria included Egypt "upholding its obligations under the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty," the State Department said. But Mr. Kerry noted in a call with his counterpart that he was not yet able to certify that Egypt was taking steps to support a democratic transition.

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