World Bulletin/News Desk
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi that Washington would deliver a batch of promised apache helicopters to Cairo next month, according to a Monday statement issued by Egypt's presidency.
Al-Sisi, it added, had met with Kerry at the presidential compound in Cairo earlier Monday in the presence of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri.
Presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said talks between al-Sisi and Kerry had focused on bilateral relations and recent political developments in Egypt.
Youssef said that the U.S. state secretary had underlined his country's support for ongoing reforms in Egypt, particularly economic reforms, adding that Washington would deliver the promised gunships to Egypt within one month.
A delegation of U.S. investors is also due to visit Egypt in November to learn about possible investment opportunities in the country, according to Youssef.
It was the first time for a U.S. official to provide a delivery date for the two-engine attack helicopters.
Earlier Monday, Egyptian Air Force Commander Yunis al-Masri said his country was expecting delivery of the U.S. helicopters "soon."
Al-Masri added that al-Sisi had concluded the helicopter deal with American officials during his last visit to the U.S.
Al-Sisi visited the U.S. late last month at the head of Egypt's delegation to the U.N. General Assembly in New York, where he also met with U.S. President Barack Obama.
In late August, the U.S. said it would deliver the helicopters to Egypt – without providing a delivery date – to help the Egyptian army fight "terrorist groups" allegedly operating in the Sinai Peninsula.
Since Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, the U.S. has provided it with $1.5 billion in aid each year, including $1.3 billion in annual military aid.
Egypt received $13.8bn in grants after Morsi ouster
Egypt received a total of $13.8 billion in grants from Arab countries during the 2013/14 fiscal year, compared with only $729 million the previous year, the country's Planning Ministry said Monday.
In a report, the ministry added that Egypt's foreign debt had risen to $46.1 billion by the end of the same fiscal year, compared with $43.2 billion one year earlier.
Egypt's fiscal year starts at the beginning of July and ends at the end of June.
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said earlier that Egypt had received $28 billion in financial assistance from "sister countries" during the ten months that followed last year's ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi by the army.
The Finance Ministry, meanwhile, estimated financial assistance from Arab countries over the same period at some $16.7 billion, noting that the assistance had also included oil shipments.
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