U.S. President Barack Obama has told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi that he will lift the hold on military aid to Cairo that was put in place after the coup in that country.
The White House says Obama is lifting the hold on sending F-16 fighter jets, Harpoon missiles and M1A1 tank kits.
But the White House says it is not certifying that Egypt has made progress toward democracy. Instead, the U.S. is maintaining that the aid is in the interest of U.S. national security.
The U.S. president reiterated concerns about Egypt’s continued imprisonment of non-violent activists and mass trials. He said respect for freedom of speech and assembly remain a focus for the United States.