He also reportedly added that Egypt had assured the US it would take into account the possibility of US sanctions and expressed hope it could withdraw from the deal.
“We have made clear that systems were to be purchased that… would require sanctions on the regime,” Pompeo told the Senate Committee on Appropriations. “We have received assurances from them, they understand that, and I am very hopeful they will decide not to move forward with that acquisition.”
Pompeo is currently testifying on the 2020 State Department Budget proposal before the Senate Appropriations State Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee.
Earlier in the day, ahead of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi’s upcoming visit to Washington, DC, a senior Trump administration official said the United States encourages Egypt to turn toward the West and away from Russia.
“In terms of the expanding Russian influence in the region, that’s obviously something which we are quite concerned. We don’t see a lot of material benefits to engagements with the Russians”, the official said on Monday. “We just would encourage the Egyptians to turn more toward the West, toward the United States”.
The official urged Egypt and other countries that wish to maintain a military relationship with the United States to refrain from buying Russian weapons as they risk being sanctioned under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).