Dear Mr. Killion,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the transfer of F-16 aircraft to Egypt. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
On October 9, 2009, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of its intent to provide Egypt 24 F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft to replace its existing Soviet-origin aircraft. Congress did not object to this sale and an arrangement between Egypt and Lockheed Martin was agreed to in the spring of 2010. In accordance with this agreement, the Egyptian Air Force is expected to begin receiving these aircraft in 2013.
On January 31, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced an amendment to the Debt Limit Act (H.R. 325) which would prohibit the sale, lease, transfer, retransfer, or delivery of F-16 aircraft and other weapons to the Government of Egypt. I joined 78 of my colleagues to oppose this amendment and it was defeated.
Providing foreign aid to Egypt has been a fundamental component of United States foreign policy for over three decades. In accordance with the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, the United States has continually committed economic and military aid to Egypt and Israel to assure continued peaceful relations between those two countries. While I recognize the recent changes in the Egyptian government have led to confusion and disarray, newly elected President Morsi and other Egyptian leaders have committed to existing international treaties. We share common goals with Egypt in countering terrorism and extremism, and Egypt’s operation of the Suez Canal continues to help United States as we continue to monitor security threats in the region. As Egypt continues its democratic transition, it is important that we maintain our level of engagement to assure strategic interests with our allies in the region.
Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.
United States Senator