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UK committed to strengthening military cooperation with Egypt: British official

Lieutenant-General Tom Beckett, the defence senior advisor for the Middle East at the Ministry of Defence, met with local defence staff

Ahram Online , Friday 13 May 2016
Egyptian Army soldiers patrol
In this Tuesday, May 21, 2013, file photo, Egyptian Army soldiers patrol in an armored vehicle backed by a helicopter gunship during a sweep through villages in Sheikh Zuweyid, northern Sinai, Egypt (AP)
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A senior Middle East official at the UK's defence ministry visited Cairo on Thursday and met with local officials including the Egyptian deputy defence minister, according to an embassy press release.

Lieutenant-General Tom Beckett, the defence senior advisor for the Middle East at the Ministry of Defence, told Assistant Minister of Defence General Mohamed El-Keshky that "the UK considers Egypt an important military partner in the region and in the fight against Daesh," the statement read, referring to the Islamic State militant group.

Beckett was accompanied on the visit by retired Air Vice Marshal Nigel Maddox who is currently senior military advisor at UK Trade and Investment, a government department.

The officials also discussed ways to increase bilateral military cooperation, including through further joint work to counter the threat of IEDs and through exploring further UK defence exports that will assist in the fight against the IS group.

Britain exports millions of pounds of arms to Egypt annually, with a dramatic increase in export licences for weapons recorded in 2015.

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