U.S. Sec. of Defense to visit Egypt for military cooperation

BY

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 - 01:15 GMT

President Sisi meets with U.S. Defense Secretary Gen. Mattis, April 5, 2017 - Press photo/Egyptian President's Office

President Sisi meets with U.S. Defense Secretary Gen. Mattis, April 5, 2017 - Press photo/Egyptian President's Office

CAIRO - 6 April 2017: U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will visit Egypt in the near future to discuss ways of enhancing military cooperation between two countries, Defense Department spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in a Wednesday

statement

about Mattis’ meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi earlier this week.

“I think you know me well enough, Mr. President, to know that I am among those who believe that no country is more critical to the long-term stability of the Middle East than Egypt,” the statement quoted Mattis as telling Sisi during the latter’s visit to the Pentagon.

Both sides discussed Egyptian and international to combat terrorism as well as military cooperation.

“Egypt has remained a center of gravity in the region, and through all these times, for whatever may have happened between us, we remain friends -- first and last, friends,” Mattis continued.

President Sisi highlighted the necessity of stopping the provision of military equipment and financing to militants to eradicate terrorism as quickly as possible, said Egyptian Spokesperson Alaa Youssef in a Thursday statement.

During opening remarks prior to a meeting between the two leaders in the White House Monday, President Sisi and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump concurred about the importance of fighting terrorism and the necessity of

intensifying military cooperation

.

At President Trump’s invitation, Sisi visited Washington for five days this week. Sisi arrived in Washington Saturday and met with Trump Monday.

The last time an Egyptian president visited Washington was in 2009, when former President Hosni Mubarak met with Barack Obama.

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