The US has released approximately $575m in military aid to Egypt and plans to deliver 10 Apache attack helicopters to the North African country.

The aid forms part of a wider $1.5bn annual US military aid package frozen last year following the ousting of Muslim Brotherhood-supported President Mohamed Mursi.  

News of the aid came during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Egypt on 22 June to meet the newly elected president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. The aid was sent to Egypt in mid-June, according to US government officials.

It is Kerry’s first visit to Egypt since last November and he is the most senior member of the US government to visit the country since Al-Sisi’s election in early June.

Speaking at a press conference, Kerry confirmed that the Apache aircraft “will come and they will come very, very soon”.

He also told the press that US President Barack Obama had requested to provide $650m in aid, but the request was reduced by the US Senate.

“I am confident that will be able to ultimately get the full amount of aid,” he told journalists.

Kerry held “candid and comprehensive” talks with Al-Sisi covering Egypt’s economy, as well as wider regional political issues, such as Israeli-Palestinian relations and the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) in Iraq.

The meeting also covered the issue of human rights, including the right to freedom of expression and a free press.

Kerry reiterated the US’ strong support for “upholding the universal rights and freedoms of all Egyptians, including freedom of expression, peace assembly and association”, adding he welcomed President Al-Sisi’s recent comments calling for a review of human rights legislation.

Kerry’s comments came a day before an Egyptian court is expected to deliver the verdicts on three Al-Jazeera journalists who stand accused of reporting false news.

The reporters Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed deny the charges. Their detention since December last year has been internationally criticised.