Washington, D.C. – In an ongoing effort to delay the delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Egypt, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of Senate Armed Services Committee, today sent a letter to President Obama expressing his concern and disappointment in the State Department’s decision to move forward with the delivery despite instability in the region and change of leadership. Inhofe requested the president take action to delay any remaining F-16s to Egypt until Congress has had time to further review the Foreign Military Sale.
“The recent transfer of four F-16 Block 52 fighter jets to Egyptian Armed Forces is troubling, and future deliveries of the remaining sixteen jets scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013 should be delayed until Congress has had time to review further this Foreign Military Sale,” said Inhofe in the letter. “The fact that conditions have changed significantly and substantively since this sale was initially approved merits closer scrutiny of this proposed action as other partners and allies look to see if our aid and assistance continues to be based on principle.”
Inhofe continued, “Under Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi, there has been constant instability, and the systematic exclusion and silencing of all official minority political opposition. This has resulted in massive street protests, and the passage of a new constitution that has been widely criticized as lacking any protection of minority political or religious rights. In addition, recent and repeated anti-semitic and anti-Israel statements by Egyptian government leaders, including President Morsi, calls into serious question whether this government will uphold its commitments under the Camp David Peace Accords, which has kept the peace in the Middle East between these two countries for over four decades.”
For a full copy of the letter, please click here.
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. On Jan. 8, Inhofe received a 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.