FILE - Egypt’s Minster of Foreign affairs Sameh Shoukry FILE - Egypt’s Minster of Foreign affairs Sameh Shoukry

Egypt’s FM discusses Syrian crisis with U.S. counterpart

Wed, Jan. 24, 2018
CAIRO – 24 January 2018: Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received a phone call from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday in which they discussed various aspects of bilateral relations and cooperation, as well as the crisis in Syria, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said.

The two parties discussed enhancing the special strategic relationship between the two countries, aiming to achieve the common interests of each of them. They also expressed their hope to hold a mutual meeting soon to keep up coordination and consultation.

They also reviewed the latest developments in the region, especially concerning the situation in Syria. They stressed on the importance of coordinating efforts to support a political solution agreed upon by all parties to the crisis, Abu Zeid added.

Shoukry stressed the importance of supporting the aspirations of the Syrian people, protecting its national unity and preserving its institutions. He asserted Egypt’s efforts to defuse the crisis in Syria, especially the international resolutions in Geneva under U.N. auspices.

He discussed the ongoing military operations in northern Syria by the Turkish forces, pointing out the importance of respecting the sovereignty of Syria and not exposing the Syrian people and their capabilities to further killing and destruction. The operations pose a serious threat to the prospects for a political solution to the crisis and efforts to eliminate terrorism in Syria.

For his part, Tillerson stressed Washington's keenness to continue coordination and consultation with Egypt in order to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis and end the human suffering of the Syrian people.

The phone call between the two ministers comes three days after Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi received U.S. Vice President Mike Pence at the presidential palace in Cairo on Saturday. The American was on a Middle East tour that also included Jordan and Israel with the aim of boosting the peace process in the region.

Sisi and Pence held intensive talks over a number of urgent issues, including ways to eliminate the threat of terrorism that has terrified the whole world. Pence pointed to U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to forge stronger ties with Sisi in his first year in office, after a time when both countries seemed to be drifting apart.

Pence’s visit came amid Egyptian and Arab anger over Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, breaking long-standing U.S. policy in the Middle East. Pence had been scheduled to meet Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb and Coptic Pope Tawadros II during the current visit, but both religious leaders revoked their invitations.

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