US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry attend a joint press conference June 22 in Cairo. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP)
CAIRO — US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday he was “confident” Egypt will receive Apache gunships soon, as he made a surprise visit to Cairo.
Kerry became the highest-ranking American official to visit Egypt since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power after overwhelmingly winning an election in May.
“The Apaches will come and they will come very, very soon,” Kerry said at a joint news conference with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri.
US officials have revealed that $572 million (€420 million) of US aid, which had been frozen since October, was released to the Cairo government about 10 days ago after finally winning a green light from Congress.
The funds will mainly go to pay existing defense contracts.
US officials announced in April they planned to resume some of the annual $1.5 billion in mostly military aid to Cairo, including 10 Apache helicopter gunships for counterterrorism efforts in the Sinai Peninsula.
But the aircraft remain in storage in the US, an official had confirmed Sunday.