The United States will deliver eight F-16 Block 52 aircraft to Egypt within the next two days, the U.S. embassy in Cairo said in a statement on Thursday, part of a military package that had been unfrozen earlier this year. The statement said Washington would deliver four more F-16s to Egypt this autumn. Despite US lawmakers’ concerns that Egypt is lagging on democratic reforms, Egypt remains one of Washington’s closest security allies in the region. In late March, US President Barack Obama lifted a hold on a supply of arms to Cairo, authorising deliveries of U.S. weapons valued at more than $1.3 billion. At the time he directed the release of 12 Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft, 20 Boeing Harpoon missiles, and up to 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits made by General Dynamics. Last month, Washington delivered two navy vessels to Egypt, doubling Cairo’s total fleet of Fast Missile Craft to four.