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Washington continues to hold delivery of new Apache helicopters to Egypt

The Obama administration reiterated on Tuesday that the US continues to hold the shipment of new Apache helicopters to Egypt pending the US government's review of its military aid to Egypt.

"The United States continues to hold delivery of new Apache helicopters as a part of the US Administration's review of assistance to Egypt," the US embassy in Cairo stated in a press release.

However, the embassy denied that Washington is postponing the return of old Egyptian army apache helicopters that were sent to the United States for maintenance.

"The US Embassy wishes to correct the record regarding recent, inaccurate reports claiming that the US government is blocking the return of several Apache helicopters owned by the Egyptian Armed Forces that were sent to the United States for maintenance," the embassy stated.

"In fact, one helicopter was sent to the United States for an upgrade. That upgrade is complete, and it is available to be shipped back to Egypt at any time."

Ever since the US brokered Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty was signed in 1979, Egypt has received annually around $2.1 billion in US aid. The package includes $815 in economic aid and $1.3 billion in military aid.

After the Egyptian army, in collaboration with religious and political forces, ousted President Mohammed Morsi on 3 July 2013, only one year after he democratically assumed office, Washington avoided labelling Morsi's ouster as a coup d'├ętat, which would have forced the US to suspend its aid to Egypt.

Instead, the US made a partial freeze on its military assistance.

The US announced in October 2013 that it was suspending part of its aid to Egypt, including holding the delivery of new F-16s, Apache helicopters, Harpoon missiles, and M1A1 tanks to Egypt. The US also suspended a $260 million cash transfer that was supposed to be offered to the military-backed interim government to encourage a transition to democracy.

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