MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States will continue aiding the Egyptian military to help the country combat terror threat, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday.
Earlier in the day, Kerry, who began his Middle East tour on Saturday, arrived in Cairo to meet with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukri and President Abdel Fattah Sisi. It is the first leadership-level meeting between the two countries since 2009.
Washington “will continue to provide robust training to the Egyptian military” in order to build capacity and professionalism to efficiently combat terrorism, Kerry said at the meeting in Cairo.
Relations between Cairo and Washington started to deteriorate after the ouster of Egyptian then-president Hosni Mubarak. During almost 30 years of his rule, Egypt has become one of the top recipients of US military aid. The aid was suspended after the 2013 military coup when the country's first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi was ousted.
In March, US President Barack Obama ordered to resume military exports to Egypt to help fight rising terrorism in the region, including the Islamic State (ISIL) militant group, and encourage reforms in the country.
In July, the United States sent eight F-16 fighter planes to Egypt. In addition, the White House earlier agreed to grant Egypt annual financial assistance amounting to $1.3 billion.