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White House Lifts US Weapons Sales Ban on Egypt

military in trainingPresident Barack Obama has lifted the U.S. arms sales ban on Egypt to support national security efforts amid ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Peter Baker writes that the Egyptian military can again buy fighter jets, tanks and weapons from the U.S. following a suspension imposed for nearly two years for the overthrow of the previous, democratically elected government.

The White House indicated that the decision is “in the interest of national security” and Baker reports Egypt wants the equipment in order to protect itself against large-scale threats in the region, the report said.

A lift of the ban will allow for the delivery of 12 F-16 aircraft, 20 Harpoon missiles and components of 125 M1A1 Abrams tanks that the arms freeze blocked in 2013, Baker reports.

He notes that the U.S. has put conditions on the removal of the ban, such as a discontinuation of the option for Egypt to credit its weapons purchase from future U.S. military aid starting in fiscal year 2018.

The Obama administration also set the aid’s parameters to border security, counterterrorism, maritime security and Sinai security, according to the report.

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