White House says seen no indication to claims Egypt planning to provide rockets to Russia

Mohamed Samir
4 Min Read

The White House’s National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby refuted the Washington Post’s claim in a report that Egypt is planning to provide rockets to Russia.

He said on Tuesday that “it has seen no indication” that Egypt is providing lethal weapon capabilities to Russia. This comes a day after the Washington Post published a report claiming that “President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi of Egypt, one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East and a major recipient of U.S. aid, recently ordered subordinates to produce up to 40,000 rockets to be covertly shipped to Russia.”

Washington Post attributed the claim to a portion of a top-secret document, dated February 17, which allegedly summarizes purported conversations between President Al-Sisi and senior Egyptian military officials.

The Washington Post said it obtained the document from a trove of images of classified files posted in February and March on Discord, a chat app popular with gamers.

In the Tuesday briefing Kirby stressed that Egypt is a significant security partner and remains so in the region.

“As you know, the United States military has a longstanding defence relationship with Egypt that goes back many, many years. And Egypt has helped play a useful role in terms of some of the negotiations that have been going on in the region, particularly with — with the — with these meetings that — that happened between Israel and — and Saudi Arabia,” he told reporters.

In response to a question about Washington’s Post story if Egypt planning to supply 40,000 rockets to Russia, Kirby said that the US has “seen no indication that Egypt is providing lethal weaponry capabilities to Russia.”

He added that he is not going to talk at all about the details of diplomatic conversations that the department is having.

Kirby emphasized that he doesn’t want to speak to the validity of these leaked documents.

The Russian presidential spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, also dismissed the report about Egypt, saying it “appears to be the latest canard,” according to Russia’s official Tass news agency.

Egypt has maintained an anti-war stance since the Russia-Ukraine crisis began, and has been calling for a political solution.

In February, Egypt joined calls for Russia to pull its troops out of Ukraine in a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) vote. The North African nation was one of 141 to vote in favour of a resolution that called for a “just and lasting peace” and for Moscow to “completely and unconditionally withdraw” from Ukrainian territory.

Egypt asserted that its vote for the UNGA resolution came in accordance with its “deep commitment” to the UN charter rejecting the use of force in international relations.

In November 2022, Egypt’s President Al-Sisi appealed for an end to the Russian-Ukrainian war, in his address at the opening session of the world leaders’ summit at the COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh.

He said that the whole world is suffering from the repercussions of the crisis, adding that “we as countries without a strong economy have suffered a lot from the ramifications of the coronavirus crisis for two years and we have endured it.”

 Egypt, similar to the rest of the world, has been affected by the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war, especially since 82% of its wheat imports over the last five years originated in Russia and Ukraine. The war, now in its second year, has pushed up food and energy prices worldwide, adding another layer to Egypt’s economic woes. 

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Mohamed Samir Khedr is an economic and political journalist, analyst, and editor specializing in geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean. For the past decade, he has covered Egypt's and the MENA region's financial, business, and geopolitical updates. Currently, he is the Executive Editor of the Daily News Egypt, where he leads a team of journalists in producing high-quality, in-depth reporting and analysis on the region's most pressing issues. His work has been featured in leading international publications. Samir is a highly respected expert on the Middle East and Africa, and his insights are regularly sought by policymakers, academics, and business leaders. He is a passionate advocate for independent journalism and a strong believer in the power of storytelling to inform and inspire. Twitter: https://twitter.com/Moh_S_Khedr LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mohamed-samir-khedr/
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