U.S. to proceed with F-16 delivery to Egypt

As the U.S. began delivery Tuesday January 22 of F-16 aircrafts to Egypt; U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed concern for U.S. State Department’s response to his request to delay F-16 delivery.

“President Morsi has failed to promote promised democracy in his country and neglected to continue Egypt’s legacy of maintaining peace in the region,” said Inhofe.

“I am alarmed and disappointed in the Obama Administration’s decision to decline my request to delay delivery of F-16s for further consideration. The original F-16 agreement was forged under a different Egyptian leadership two years ago.  The country’s new leadership has a history of abominable hostility towards our ally, Israel, and support of radical terrorists. Just in September, the President was saying we could no longer consider the Egyptian government an ally.  Why then is the Obama Administration knowingly providing them now with top-of-the-line military equipment?

“Once again, I call on the Administration to reconsider further F-16 deliveries until Egypt can establish a democratic parliament and ensure stability and peace for its people and the region” Inhofe added.

On Dec. 17, 2012, Inhofe in a letter called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to delay the planned delivery of 20 F-16 fighter jets to Egypt. Last week, Inhofe received a hardcopy response from the U.S. State Department stating it was in the best interest of the U.S. to proceed with the delivery of the F-16s.  Tulsa Today covered that letter in a story here.

A portion of the letter read: “Egypt continues to play an important role in regional peace and stability. In all of our engagements with President Morsi and his staff, they have reaffirmed Egypt’s commitment to its international agreements, including its peace treaty with Israel.”

A full copy of the response is available by clicking here.