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Mon Feb 4, 2013 6:9AM
US F-16 warplanes (file photo)

US F-16 warplanes (file photo)

The United States has delivered four F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of Washington’s annual military aid to Cairo. The move was interpreted by Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as a growing military cooperation between Cairo and Washington. US and Egyptian officials held a joint ceremony to mark the arrival of the jets on Sunday, the US embassy in Cairo said in a statement. The military aircraft are part of a group of twenty F-16 warplanes that are planned to be dispatched to Egypt this year with four of them already arrived in January and the rest due later in 2013. The delivery, however, provoked criticism inside the US Congress with Kentucky Republican Senator Ran Paul calling the action a “huge mistake.” The United States delivered 224 F-16 aircraft to Egypt at the order of former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. AO/HSN