U.S.: Arms deals with Egypt to continue
Pentagon official says upheavals and regime changes in Middle East will not affect U.S. military sales to Egypt.
U.S. arms sales to Egypt have been unaffected by the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February, the Pentagon official in charge of carrying out such programs said on Friday.
"We continue to do with Egypt what we were doing before the Arab Spring, if you will," Vice Admiral William Landay, head of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, told reporters at the Pentagon.
He declined to discuss the status of pending deals with other Middle East countries amid the unrest that has shaken the region from Tunisia to Bahrain and Yemen.
"Egypt specifically, I'll answer that one," Landay said in reply to a question. "There has been no change in what we were doing before" the 18-day uprising that toppled Mubarak on February 11.
Two of the biggest regional deals in the works also have been cleared to proceed by the United States. They are a $29.4 billion sale of 84 Boeing Company F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia and a $7 billion sale to the United Arab Emirates of an advanced missile defense system built by Lockheed Martin Corporation, Richard Genaille, the security cooperation agency's deputy director, said in April.
The U.S. Defense Department expects arms exports that it manages to top $46 billion in fiscal 2011, which ends September 30, up from $31.6 billion the year before, driven by international tensions and strong demand for proven technology.