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Egypt receives two fast missile boats from US

An Egyptian Fast Missile Craft is seen in the file photo.

The United States has provided Egypt with two fast missile boats, the US embassy in Cairo says.

According to a statement by the embassy on Monday, the two Fast Missile navy vessels reached the Mediterranean city of Alexandria on June 17.

Egypt’s naval fleet of Fast Missile Craft is doubled after taking delivery of the two US missile boats.

The statement added that the vessels will contribute significantly towards “ensuring regional security, countering terrorism, and protecting global commerce.”

"The Fast Missile Craft directly supports maritime and regional security, which includes protecting vital waterways such as the Suez Canal and the Red Sea," Major General Charles Hooper, a senior defense official at the US embassy, said.

"This delivery is a sign of America's ongoing commitment to Egypt and to our shared security interests in Egypt and the region," Hooper added.

In March, US President Barack Obama lifted an arms freeze on Egypt imposed on the African country following the 2013 military ouster of Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected government.

During a phone conversation with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on March 31, the US president announced that he would allow 12 F-16 aircraft, 20 Harpoon missiles, and 125 M1A1 tank kits to be delivered to Cairo.

Following Morsi’s ouster, the US halted the transfer of F-16 fighter jets, M1A1 tank kits, Harpoon missiles and Apache helicopters to the Cairo government.

The suspension of the US aid angered Egyptian authorities, leading to damaged Washington-Cairo relations.

In December 2014, following intense negotiations between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Sisi, Egypt received 10 Apache helicopters from Washington to counter terrorist activities in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

The Sinai Peninsula has long been considered a safe haven for gunmen who use the region as a base for their acts of terror.

Since the ouster of Morsi, assailants have launched almost daily attacks in the volatile region, killing members of security forces.


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