(3 Dec 2018) LEADIN
Egypt is hosting its first international weapons fair.
Egypt Defence Expo aims to project a message that the country is secure and stable after years of instability.
Some of the world’s top arms companies have joined hundreds of military and civilian participants from around the globe for the Egypt Defence Expo.
It’s the first time Egypt has hosted an international weapons fair.
Organisers hope the event will project a message to the world that Egypt is now secure and stable.
“I believe that this Expo is a great opportunity for delegations of 56 countries attending to see our products and the progress we have achieved,” says Mohamed El-Assar, Egypt’s Minister of Military Production.
“I am sure that our military productions are in very high quality and meet the international levels and we are willing to cooperate with all the international companies to develop and enhance our products.”
The United States, Egypt’s largest arms supplier, has over 40 companies present, alongside major firms from Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russia, China, India and Gulf monarchies.
After cutting a ribbon to open a US pavilion at the event, US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Dorothy Shea, discusses the financial support her country gives to Egypt’s military:
“We have this amount of money that our Congress very generously appropriates to help the Egyptian military, the question is how do you best use that money to target today’s threats and tomorrow’s threats. And so we are seeing a shift in paradigm away from some of the heavy machinery that characterised our assistance in past years towards a more nimble kind of approach to countering terrorism,” she says.
She adds that the US wants to share its military experience with Egypt to help it purchase the most efficient equipment.
Organisers have not specified sales targets or expectations for the event, but say agreements will be signed and announced.
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi led the 2013 military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president.
Egypt is currently battling an Islamic State-led insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.
The Defence Expo is running for three days.
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