Egypt is resisting requests from the US that it send weapons to Ukraine to fight off Russia, The Wall Street Journal has reported Egyptian and US officials as saying.
US officials including defence secretary Lloyd Austin have asked Egypt to supply Ukraine weapons, as part of a push from the Biden administration to generate arms for a Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia, the American newspaper reported.
Weapons asked for include artillery shells, antitank missiles, air-defence systems and small arms, one US official told WSJ.
The US has made the requests multiple times this year, but have received non-committal answers from Egyptian officials. However, Egyptian officials said privately that Egypt has no plans to send the weapons, WSJ said.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council was quoted as saying: “Our cooperation with Egypt on a host of issues, including the conflict in Ukraine, is extensive and positive.
“While we will not discuss sensitive diplomacy, any reporting to the contrary is categorically false.”
A spokesman for Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn’t respond to a request for comment, WSJ said.
Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. War is currently concentrated in the east and south of Ukraine.
Egypt shares friendly ties with Russia, and has long been heavily dependent on both Russia and Ukraine for supplies of food staples including wheat.
Earlier this year, the US pressured Egypt into not sending weapons to Russia, one US official told WSJ.
Egypt is one of the US’s biggest military partners in the Middle East. The US provides Egypt with more than US$1 billion in military aid every year.
Source : TheNewArab