US threatens to punish Egypt over Russian arms deal

Washington, Nov 15 : The US has threatened to punish Egypt for its decision to purchase fighter jets from Russia, flexing its muscles against a second regional power that was veering toward Moscow.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper sent a letter on Wednesday to Cairo, urging the country to scrap a deal to purchase Su-35 jets from Russia, Xinhua news agency quoted the Wall Street Journal as saying on Thursday.

"Major new arms deals with Russia would-at a minimum-complicate future US defence transactions with and security assistance to Egypt," the letter said.

Egypt reportedly signed a $2 billion agreement earlier this year with Russia to buy more than 20 Su-35 jets.

The menacing tone came after similar tactics failed to bring Turkey, another regional power and a NATO member, to drop its bid to acquire Russian S-400 missile systems.

Threats to kick Turkey out of the F-35 programme was met with indifference from Ankara and a bilateral meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday at the White House did not yield a consensus on the issue.

(IANS | 3 months ago)

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US threatens to punish Egypt over Russian arms deal