WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke with Egyptian Defense Minister Colonel General Sedki Sobhy on Saturday to confirm the United States plans to deliver 10 Apache helicopters to Egypt to support Cairo’s counter-terrorism efforts, the Pentagon said.
The United States originally announced in April that it had decided to lift its hold on the delivery of the attack helicopters to Egypt, imposed last year after the military’s ouster of President Mohamed Mursi and an ensuing crackdown against protesters.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said at the time that the helicopters would support Egypt’s counter-terrorism operations in the Sinai Peninsula.
On Saturday, Kirby said Hagel had confirmed to General Sobhy that Washington planned to deliver the helicopters, built by Boeing Co., but gave no date.
Kirby said Hagel also thanked Egypt for its role in brokering a ceasefire to end the latest round of Gaza fighting between Hamas and Israel.
Reporting by Sandra Maler; Editing by Dan Grebler