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Kerry arrives in Egypt for 'strategic dialogue' meetings

Ahram Online , Saturday 1 Aug 2015
John Kerry
US Secretary of State John Kerry (Photo:Reuters)
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US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Egypt on Saturday ahead of the "strategic dialogue" talks with Egypt scheduled to start on Sunday, MENA state agency reported a day earlier.

Kerry will co-chair the two-day forum along with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

The bilateral dialogue is expected to tackle regional challenges as well as the security situation in Egypt's Sinai, where the military is battling a militant insurgency.

The US delegation to Egypt is also expected to include Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles H. Rivkin and Kerry's Senior Advisor David Thorne.

Egypt and the US have maintained a decades-long strategic political and military relationship since the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, with the US providing Cairo with billions of dollars in aid.

However, relations became tense when the US maintained a critical position towards the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

In October 2013, the United States announced the suspension of its annual military aid to Egypt.

In March, the Obama administration resumed American aid, despite its "concerns" over Egypt's human rights record.

On 11 June, the US House of Representatives agreed on the budget of the fiscal year 2016 with no changes made to the $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt.

On Friday, Egypt received eight F-16 aircraft from the US – part of the aid package to the Egyptian military.

According to the US embassy, four more F-16s will be delivered to Egypt this autumn.

Kerry is expected to travel to Qatar on Monday.

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