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UK boosts 2015 arms sales to Egypt after sinking 2013 deals

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi (R) and British Prime Minister David Cameron

Britain has reportedly re-boosted weapon sales to the Egyptian government in 2015 following a reduction in sales put in place  after the military ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.

The US-based Newsweek magazine reported Friday that official figures released by the UK government indicated that London approved military sales licenses to Egypt for "components of military combat vehicles" worth $76.3 million in the first quarter of 2015.

According to the report, the figures point to a 3,000-percent annual increase in the value of military sales to Egypt by British weapon exporters. It added that in the first quarter of 2014 military deals between the two states stood at $2.4 million in value.

It further noted that some arms export licenses were cancelled by Britain in 2013 following a military coup against Morsi by then army chief and current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi.

In June, the Egyptian president received an official invitation  from British Prime Minister David Cameron to pay a visit to London.

A number of British human rights organizations have censured the expanding military ties between London and Cairo.

"The UK should be condemning the appalling human rights abuses that are taking place in Egypt,” said CAAT researcher Andrew Smith.

"However, these increasing arms sales, and the forthcoming visit, suggest that the government wants to strengthen its ties [with Cairo]," he added.


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