WASHINGTON, April 23 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reached out to their Egyptian counterparts on Tuesday to notify them that the U.S. will soon certify to Congress that Egypt is meeting its obligations under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty.
Congressional notification of Egypt's obligations is required to obligate FY 2014 funds to the Egyptian government.
Kerry spoke Tuesday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, telling Fahmy that he will certify that Egypt is taking steps to counter transnational threats, including terrorism and weapons proliferation, and meeting its Treaty obligations. The secretary said he could not, however, tell Congress that Egypt was progressing toward democratic transition.
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, speaking about the phone call, said that Kerry "urged Egypt to follow through on its commitment to transition to democracy -- including by conducting free, fair, and transparent elections, and easing restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, and the media -- as Egypt will be more secure and prosperous if it respects the universal rights of its citizens."
Secretary Hagel relayed the same message during his conversation with Egyptian Minister of Defense Col. General Sedki Sobhy. According to Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby, Hagel "urged the Egyptian government to demonstrate progress on a more inclusive transition that respects the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Egyptians."
Hagel also notified the Egyptian defense minister that President Barack Obama had approved the delivery of 10 Apache helicopters to support Egypt's counterterrorism operations in the Sinai.