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Egypt-US relations are progressively improving: Egyptian foreign ministry

Ahram Online , Friday 27 Nov 2015
President Abdel El-Fattah El-Sisi and the US congressional delegation at Egyptian Presidency in Cairo (Photo: Egyptian Presidency)
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The spokesperson for Egypt's foreign ministry, Ahmed Abo Zeid, said on Friday that the Egyptian-American relations are "progressively improving."

Speaking to reporters in Cairo, Abo Zeid said that the US is a partner with Egypt in economic and social programmes.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met with a US congressional delegation in Cairo earlier this week to discuss counter-terrorism efforts and continued military relations between the two countries, the Egyptian presidency announced in a statement.

In mid-November, US Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James visited in Cairo with Egypt's Minister of Defence to discuss the opportunities for future military training for Egyptian troops.

The United States delivered eight F-16 fighter jets to Egypt in July and four others in October as a part of a $3.2 billion deal Egypt signed with the US in 2009.

Abo Zeid also said that there is a great deal of coordination between the two countries concerning different regional and international issues.

"Secretary of State John Kerry was in contact with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, to discuss issues related to the Palestinian cause and the latest developments in the Middle East," he said.

The spokesman said that Kerry's latest visit to the occupied territories reflects a new chapter from the American side in dealing with the tense situation in Palestine.

He added that Egypt is always keen to send a clear message to the American side that talks concerning this issue will no longer endure moving without a goal or a timeframe.

Speaking about assaults on Muslims living in Europe and the burning of some mosques and some copies of the Quran, Abo Zeid said that this was a "dangerous" phenomenon.

"In the framework of fighting terrorism, Al-Azhar should be keen to regularly issue Islamic fatwas and translate them into English," he said.

Relations between Cairo and Washington have warmed in recent months after of a period of tension following the ousting of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Washington had temporarily withheld parts of its $1.3 billion in military aid to Cairo after Morsi's ouster citing concerns over the democratic process, but has since released most of it .

In late October, Egypt received the last batch of F-16 fighter jets which were part of a $3.2 billion military deal that Egypt signed with the US in 2009.

On Wednesday, the US embassy in Cairo said that the assasination of judges overseeing the second stage of parliamentary elections in North Sinai was an attack on "a symbol of the democratic process and Egypt's development."

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