United States Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Jonathan Greenert concluded Monday his trip to Egypt, aimed at strengthening naval cooperation between the two countries, according to a statement from the US embassy in Cairo.
Greenert met with his Egyptian counterpart, Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Naval Forces Rear Admiral Ossama Monier Rabie, in the port city of Alexandria.
Greenert toured a number of Egyptian naval installations and vessels, including the four Fast Missile Crafts, two of which were delivered last month.
The four vessels are worth $1.1bn and were granted to Egypt by the US to boost water security in the region, including that of the Suez Canal.
“I’m in Egypt to build a stronger relationship with my counterpart Rear Admiral Ossama,” said Greenert, according to the embassy statement. “I was honored to meet him and his staff today and visit several Egyptian Navy ships in Alexandria.”
The US had halted its annual military aid to Egypt following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi. Morsi was removed by then-general, now-president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi following mass protests against his rule.
The aid, however, was recently resumed after an almost two-year freeze, as Egypt became increasingly seen as a key regional player in the fight against extremists, and a bulwark of stability in the Middle East.
The Obama administration said the move was “in the interest of U.S. national security”. He also said that the move comes with other changes to military ties with Washington’s long-time ally to support US interests, while encouraging the country’s political reforms.
Egypt has been receiving annual aid packages from the US as part of the Camp David Accords, which led to the country’s peace treaty with Israel. The aid amounts to approximately $1.5bn annually, $1.3bn of which is in the form of foreign military financing.