By Mohamed al-Rayes
Egypt’s biennial Bright Star military exercises, in which nine countries participated this year, wrapped up Friday.
According to an Egyptian army statement, the Egyptian, U.S., British, French, Italian, Greek, Jordanian, Saudi, and United Arab Emirates (UAE) militaries took part in the drills.
The 12-day exercises featured ground, naval and air maneuvers aimed at enhancing participants’ combat-readiness.
States that attended the drills as observers included Canada, Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, India, South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo, Chad, Djibouti, Mali, Niger and Senegal.
Egypt has hosted the Bright Star games every two years since 1981.
They were suspended in 2011 after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down -- after 30 years in power -- following 18 days of popular protests.
The exercises resumed in 2017 amid improved relations between Egypt’s al-Sisi regime and the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.