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Egypt agrees to arms Ukraine after U.S. talks: report | Russo-Ukrainian war news

According to the Washington Post, leaked Pentagon documents show that Egypt has suspended plans to produce rockets for Russia.

Egypt had planned to build rockets for Russia, but later suspended the effort and decided to supply Ukraine with ammunition after talks with U.S. officials, The Washington Post reported, citing leaked intelligence documents.

The Washington Post reported last week that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi secretly plans to produce 40,000 rockets for Russia. But in a new report on Thursday — based on leaked Pentagon Papers circulating online — the newspaper said Cairo put the operation on hold in early March.

The Washington Post stated that Egypt also approved the sale of artillery ammunition to the United States “for transfer to Ukraine,” calling the shift a “clear diplomatic victory” for President Biden’s administration.

Egypt, which has close ties to Russia despite being a close U.S. ally, has previously denied plans to produce rockets for the Russian military and has stressed its policy of “not getting involved” in Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Last week, U.S. authorities arrested a member of the Air National Guard, accusing him of posting classified documents online for use by senior Pentagon officials.

The documents, which first appeared on the social media site Discord, include details of Western military support for Ukraine, information on Russia’s war effort and intelligence gathering from allies.

U.S. officials have not denied the validity of the documents, acknowledging that they “pose a very serious risk to national security” and appear to be authentic, albeit doctored in some cases.

Al Jazeera has seen no documents about Egypt.

The Biden administration has been trying to rally allies to support Ukraine’s aid, warning countries around the world not to aid Russia’s war effort or violate Washington’s sanctions on Moscow.

Last week, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. saw no “signs that Egypt is supplying Russia with a lethal weapons capability,” stressing that Cairo remains an “important security partner” in the region.

Several U.S. officials have visited Egypt this year, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who met Sisi in March.

“he [Austin] The Pentagon said after the meeting it provided an update on Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine, its global economic consequences and the threat the conflict poses to the rules-based international order.

Egypt receives more than $1 billion in aid each year, making it one of the countries that receive the most military aid from the United States in the world.

But Biden has been under pressure from progressives and activists to place conditions on U.S. aid to Egypt to push Sisi’s government to improve its human rights record.

Although the State Department withheld a small portion of aid to Egypt last year, it approved a $2.5 billion arms deal with the country despite rights issues.

Biden had vowed early in his White House term to put human rights at the center of U.S. foreign policy.

As a candidate, Biden declared a break with his predecessor, Donald Trump, by declaring “no more blank checks for Sisi,” who rose to power in a 2013 military coup that toppled President Mohamed Morsi.

Since Biden took office, though, his administration has frequently praised the Egyptian government, including for its efforts to act as a mediator between Israeli and Palestinian groups.

“Egypt has played a useful role in some of the ongoing negotiations in the region,” Kirby said last week.

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