The Wall Street Journal quoted Egyptian and US officials as saying that Egypt, after agreeing not to send weapons to Russia, is now resisting requests from senior US officials to send weapons to Ukraine.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the issue constitutes an obstacle to pushing the Biden administration to generate weapons for a Ukrainian counterattack, and to Washington’s efforts to mobilize weapons and ammunition for Ukraine, at a critical moment in the war.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the officials said that Cairo initially planned to send missiles to Moscow, but abandoned this plan under pressure from Washington earlier this year.
US officials, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, asked Egypt to provide Ukraine with weapons, in an effort to help the Ukrainian government overcome the shortage of ammunition.
The Wall Street Journal indicated that the request for Ukraine’s assistance was made by Austin last March, when he met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi in Cairo.
While the Egyptian leadership weren’t committed to agreeing to the US request at the time, senior US officials have raised the request in multiple meetings since then.
The Wall Street Journal also pointed out that the United States has asked Egypt to provide Ukraine with artillery shells, anti-tank missiles, air defense systems and light weapons, according to a US official.
In conversations with US officials, Cairo didn’t reject the requests outright, but the Egyptians said privately that their country did not plan to send weapons.
The Wall Street Journal stated that the Egyptian government’s failure to deliver weapons so far has raised concerns among members of Congress, who are pressuring the Biden administration not to release $320 million in military aid, in order to continue pressure on the Egyptian government because of its human rights violations.