Egypt, U.S. start joint military exercise after 8-year suspension

Xinhua Published: 2017-09-11 02:40:53
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The Egyptian-U.S. joint military exercise, known as "The Bright Star," kicked off on Sunday at a military base in Egypt, the Egyptian military spokesman said in a statement. 

The 10-day joint maneuver activities will continue until Sept. 20, including joint land, air and naval operations, Egyptian Military Spokesman Tamer al-Refaay said in the statement.

On the sidelines of the training, a research symposium will be held to exchange visions on strategic topics on the international arena and Egypt's comprehensive strategy of fighting terrorism, Refaay added. 

Launched in 1981, the joint biennial training has been suspended since 2009, due to the ouster of former presidents Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi in addition to the dissatisfaction of former U.S. President Barack Obama's administration with the Egyptian new leadership. 

Obama's successor, U.S. President Donald Trump promised to resume the exercise. Both Trump and Sisi have repeatedly exchanged remarks of praise and promised further cooperation and partnership. 

"The Bright Star exercises reflect the depth of strategic cooperation between the Egyptian and the U.S. armed forces," said the Egyptian military spokesman.

Resumption of the Bright Star comes a few weeks after Washington announced to withhold some 300 million U.S. dollars of aid to Egypt over human rights concerns. 

Egypt receives an annual of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in military and economic aid since it signed the 1979 U.S.-sponsored peace treaty with Israel. 

Earlier in April, the Egyptian and the U.S. navies launched a joint exercise in the waters of the Red Sea, known as "Eagle Salute 2017," where Italy, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Pakistan participated as monitors.

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