U.S. threatens to punish Egypt over arms deal with Russia

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-15 14:04:53|Editor: Wang Yamei
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The United States has threatened to punish Egypt for its decision to purchase fighter jets from Russia, flexing its muscles against a second regional power that is veering toward Moscow.

According to reports by the Wall Street Journal Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper sent a letter Wednesday to Cairo, urging the country to scrap a deal to purchase Su-35 jets from Russia.

"Major new arms deals with Russia would-at a minimum-complicate future U.S. defense transactions with and security assistance to Egypt," the letter said.

Egypt reportedly signed a 2-billion-dollar agreement earlier this year with Moscow to buy more than 20 Su-35 jets.

The menacing tone came after similar tactics failed to bring Turkey, another regional power and a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to drop its bid to acquire Russian S-400 missile systems.

Threats to kick Turkey out of the F-35 program was met with indifference from Ankara and a bilateral meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Wednesday at the White House did not yield a consensus on the issue.