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'Egypt's stability more important than any other time,' says US Senator Graham in Cairo

A US congressional delegation, which is led by Senator Lindsey Graham, has met with the Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi on Saturday before meeting with Sisi today

Ahram Online , Sunday 3 Apr 2016
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham in Cairo
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (C) speaks during a news conference in Cairo, Egypt April 3, 2016 (Reuters)
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US Senator Lindsey Graham said at a press conference on Sunday after meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah-El-Sisi in Cairo that Egypt's stability "is more important than any other time," the Egyptian state-owned MENA agency reported.

Graham, a member of the US senate's Armed Forces Committee and the head of a senate delegation on a two-day visit to Egypt, praised El-Sisi, saying "he was the right man at the right time to lead Egypt, the transitional process, and to consolidate the rule of law, human rights and the fight against terrorism."

The Republican senator said that the success of Egypt is fundamental for the world, pointing out that conditions in Libya and Syria have deteriorated since his last visit to Cairo and charged that Iran is working on shaking the stability of the region.

Graham said the series of meetings attended by the delegation in Cairo focused on security aspects.

On Saturday, the delegation met with Egypt’s defence minister Sedki Sobhi, where they "tackled the exchange of visions about the development of the situation in the region as well as international efforts in the war against terrorism," according to a statement by the Egyptian army spokesperson.

Egypt annually receives $1.3 billion in military aid from Washington.

The congressional delegation visited development projects by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which focuses on programmes in health, education and economic growth.

They also visited projects "designed to protect Egypt's cultural heritage and support its economic development," a US embassy in Cairo statement read.

The USAID programme in Egypt has totaled $30 billion since 1978, according to the agency's official Facebook page.

Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry visited Washington last week and met with his counterpart John Kerry.

Kerry praised on Wednesday Egypt’s “critical role” in dealing with regional challenges, including counterterrorism.

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