President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis  - Press Photo via Presidency Office President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis - Press Photo via Presidency Office

Sisi emphasizes Egypt-U.S. strategic relations

Thu, Apr. 20, 2017
CAIRO--20 April 2017: Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El Sisi emphasized the strong Egyptian-American strategic relations in the face of difficult challenges over the past years in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in Cairo, according to Presidential statement Thursday.

The meeting held continued discussions between both leaders “on ways to strengthen the ongoing military cooperation between the two countries”, following their constructive meeting at the Pentagon during Sisi's visit to Washington earlier this month.

Sisi highlighted Egypt's keenness on further advancing bilateral relations under the new American administration.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Defense Sedki Sobhi; U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell; and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Robert Stephen Beecroft.

On his first visit to Cairo, Mattis affirmed Egypt's pivotal role in the Middle East while praising its counter-terrorism efforts and expressed Washington’s desire to strengthen relations with Egypt in the upcoming period “to counter the unprecedented challenges”, given the tense regional situation.

During the meeting which also tackled the topic of combating terrorism, Sisi emphasized the strong need to “dry up sources of terrorism” and send a strict message to countries that fund terrorism or provide them arms and fighters.

Mattis’ visit to Egypt comes as part of his visits to the Middle East, which include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Djibouti and Israel as well.

Mattis was scheduled to stop in Egypt for security talks and for a wreath-laying ceremony at Egypt’s Unknown Soldier Memorial in honor of fallen Egyptian soldiers.

The US department of defense described the visit as “an attempt to discuss the cooperative effort to counter destabilizing activities and defeat extremist terrorist organizations”.

Last Tuesday, Minister of Defense Sedki Sobhi met with a U.S. Congress delegation headed by Hal Rogers, Chairmen of the US Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, where the two sides discussed joint military cooperation as the U.S. delegation expressed their condolences on the church terror attacks on Palm Sunday last week.
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