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El-Sisi meets US congressmen, urges economic support of Egypt

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi says states must support moderate regimes in the region against terrorism - and not only through military action

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Sep 2014
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President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi meets US congressmen (Photo:Ahram)
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Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told a US Congress delegation on Tuesday that events in the region should compel leading countries to take quick measures to support "moderate" regional states in the face of terrorism, Egypt's presidential spokesman said in a statement.

El-Sisi told the delegation, headed by US Representative Howard "Buck" McKeon and comprised of seven other House members, that facing terrorism means taking socioeconomic steps alongside military action, and supporting "moderate states'" to strengthen their economies.

Increasing those states' capacity to provide food, housing and acceptable living standards for their citizens is part of confronting terrorism, instead of overspending on armed warfare, El-Sisi said according to the statement, read by presidential spokesman Ehab Badawy.

The US delegation arrived in Egypt Tuesday morning and met El-Sisi in the presence of US Chargé d'Affaires in Egypt David Ranz.

Egypt reiterated its view of local events over the last three politically turbulent years, saying "what happened was an expression of a free national will and pure manifestation of popular will, which Egypt's armed forces were partial to."

Badawi said Egypt was right in warning against the spread of extremist thought, first in the region and then later to western countries.

In response to a question about the Sinai Peninsula – where security forces are battling an Islamist insurgency – El-Sisi assured the delegation that the Egyptian army is taking measures to ensure the safety of its citizens there, according to Badawi.

El-Sisi plans to make his first visit to the US in September to participate in the 69th United Nations General Assembly.

Relations between the US and Egypt have wavered since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi last summer, as US officials have expressed concern over a prolonged crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood leader's supporters and Islamist sympathisers.

In October of last year, Washington withheld from the Egyptian government deliveries of tanks, fighter aircraft, helicopters and missiles as well as $260 million in cash aid, pending progress in democracy and human rights.

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