U.S. reps oppose delivery of F-16s to Egypt

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – U.S. lawmakers have cautioned Washington on proceeding with the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Egypt as part of a $1 billion military aid package promised to Cairo in 2010.

Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan said the idea is dangerous as it aids a dictatorial regime with links to terrorists. He was referring to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood, which he headed prior to his election.

Rep. Mac Thornberry, (R-Texas), vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, also urged caution because of the unpredictable direction of Egypt.

Earlier, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, (R-Fla.), who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said it is unclear if Egypt is still a U.S. ally.

The reactions came after a U.S. military source reportedly said Tuesday that four of 20 jets under the package will be delivered in January next year. The Egyptian Air Force already has 200 F-16s in its fleet all coming from the U.S.

Meanwhile, in Cairo, thousands of pro-government and anti-government protesters staged separate demonstrations. A rally in Nasr City’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque aired support for Morsi and the referendum on a controversial draft constitution scheduled for Saturday.

At the presidential palace, anti-Morsi and anti-referendum protesters continue to demand the postponement of the referendum claiming the draft constitution was made by an Islamist-led Constituent Assembly and is not truly representative.

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