B-52s mark US support for Egypt

The start of upgraded joint Egyptian-American military exercises stands as a sign of continuing US commitment toward Egypt and an indicator of support for President Hosni Mubarak, Monitor contributor Olfat M. El Tohamy reports.

Bright Star 82, involving 4,000 US troops equipped with sophisticated B-52 bombers, dispatched for the first time in maneuvers outside the United States, represents the highest point in military coordination between Egypt and the US since the late President Sadat offered the US military facilities to protect friendly neighboring states.

The decision to include the B-52s in the exercises, taking place in the Western Desert, was made after Mr. Sadat's asassination Oct. 6. Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. made the offer while visiting Egypt immediately afterward to attend Sadat's funeral, and President Mubarak readily welcomed the suggestion, diplomatic sources said.

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