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Washington: We have delivered Apaches to Egypt and we support its dialogue with Qatar

October 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki confirmed during Wednesday’s daily press briefing that the US has begun delivering Apache helicopters to Egypt, noting that the US had announced its intention in August to deliver them. She said: “We announced that we would be delivering the Apaches. In terms of whether they were physically delivered, I think the Egyptians would certainly know that. But we announced that they were going to be delivered.”

In response to a question regarding the US playing the role of mediator between Egypt and Qatar, especially since they are both members of the international alliance formed to combat the Islamic State (ISIS), Psaki explained that officials from both countries have participated in a number of meetings, including the meeting attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jeddah. They also attended the UN General Assembly meetings, during which they sat together and spoke about points of agreement regarding combatting ISIS. Psaki also stated that the US is working with all countries and urging them to engage in dialogue with one another.

In addition, Psaki asserted that Egypt plays an important role in combatting ISIS, noting that General John Allen, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, and Deputy Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk, recently met with Egyptian officials to discuss the international coalition’s efforts against ISIS. She also said that many Egyptian officials have effectively spoken out against the brutality of the organisation, which is important.

This prompted a reporter to ask whether or not Egypt was a good example for the US to praise, in light of “the repressive course” that Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi is taking, leading Psaki to respond: “Well, I think there are concerns, as we’ve – and we express them, including yesterday, I did, about cracking down on protesters, freedom of the press. And we obviously put out an annual report in that regard, but that’s – there – we raise those issues when I’m talking about ISIS.”

Meanwhile, Addustour newspaper reported that Egyptian Judge Mohammed Eldemerdash decided on Thursday to postpone the lawsuit calling for a court ruling to dissolve the 6 April Youth Movement and to declare it as a terrorist organisation in its session next December.

An Egyptian lawyer had filed the lawsuit on behalf of Former MP Hamdi Al-Fakharani against the post-coup interim Egyptian president, the prime minister, and both the interior and foreign ministers. According to Addustour, the lawyer filing the suit claims that the members of the 6 April Youth Movement “have been trained outside Egypt and receive foreign funding from European countries in order to spread incitement and dismantle society.”