Egypt FM heads to US Saturday for first visit since Trump inauguration

Ahram Online , Sunday 19 Feb 2017

Shoukry and Pence
Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry (L) meets with US Vice President Mike Pence (R) in December (Photo Courtesy of Egyptian foreign ministry)

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is set to fly to Washington D.C. this weekend for his first visit since the January inauguration of President Donald Trump, state owned news agency MENA reported on Sunday.

In statements to diplomatic reporters, Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said Shoukry will head to the United States capital on Saturday for talks with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other members of the Trump administration.

The two-day visit will include talks on bilateral relations between Egypt and the US and means of bolstering them.

Abu Zeid said there was a keenness from the ِAmerican side to hear Egypt's view on several issues, including the war on terrorism, the Syrian, Libyan, Yemeni crises, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

He added that Egypt will participate in an anti-terrorism conference in March in London, where it plans to present a new strategy for combating the Islamic State group.

Saturday's visit comes one month after US President Trump told Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in a phone call that his administration is committed to maintaining annual US military aid to Egypt. During the call Trump praised El-Sisi's efforts in the war against terrorism and extremism. 

Both leaders underscored their belief in the strategic importance of bilateral cooperation.

Egypt receives $1.3 billion yearly in military aid from the US.

According to statements by the Egyptian President's office, plans are underway for El-Sisi to visit Washington for discussions with Trump.

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