US pours arms into Middle-east | NEWS.com.au

US pours arms into Middle-east | NEWS.com.au
THE United States has announced new military pacts worth billions of dollars for Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Gulf states in a bid to counter Iran.

Details of the new Middle East military aid bonanza came as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates left Washington for a rare joint trip to the region, seeking assurances of help in stabilizing Iraq.

The plan provides US$13 billion for Egypt, US$30 billion for Israel and billions more for Saudi Arabia and Gulf states

“To support our continued diplomatic engagement in the region, we are forging new assistance agreements with the Gulf states, Israel, and Egypt,” Rice said in a statement.

The move will “help bolster forces of moderation and support a broader strategy to counter the negative influences of Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran,” she said.

Rice said before leaving that the United States had agreed a new 10-year, US$13 billion pact to bolster Egypt’s capacity to address shared strategic goals.

A new US$30 billion pact with Israel over 10 years, will soon be concluded, which hikes the value of US military assistance to the Jewish state by US$600 million-a-year on average.

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