Biden administration approves large sale of anti-tank missiles to Egypt
Move comes as US officials say that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine presents an opportunity to pry Egypt away from orbit of Russian arms
The Biden administration informed Congress on Thursday that it has approved a potential sale of $691m worth of anti-tank missiles and other equipment to Egypt.
The sale, if completed, would include 5,070 TOW 2A anti-tank missiles, tools, equipment and training services.
The weapons would help Egypt replenish its existing stockpiles of armaments and be used for counter-terrorism operations and border security operations, according to a statement released by the Department of Defence.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Major Non-NATO Ally that continues to be an important strategic partner in the Middle East,” the statement added.
Egypt has been engaged in a years-long campaign against militants in the Sinai peninsula. Earlier this month, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 11 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai.
A country of more than 100 million straddling the Middle East and North Africa, Egypt is a strategic US ally in the region and home to the Suez Canal, the vital shipping artery through which 12 percent of world trade passes.