US stands with Egypt, its people in their pursuit of prosperous future: State department

Ahram Online , Sunday 29 Jan 2023

The United States stands with Egypt and supports Egyptians in their pursuit of a prosperous future which protects fundamental freedoms for all, said a press release by the US Department of State on Sunday.

Biden, Sisi
President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. AP

"The United States stands with Egypt and the Egyptian people to promote regional security, bolster economic resilience, advance people-to-people ties, tackle the climate crisis, strengthen a critical defense partnership," the statement added.

The statement comes as both countries mark more than a century of diplomatic cooperation and friendship. It also coincides with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Cairo as part of his Middle East tour.

Regional security

The US said it is cooperating "closely" with Egypt to de-escalate conflicts and promote sustainable peace, including by supporting UN mediation to enable elections in Libya as soon as possible.

They are also cooperating to restore a civilian-led transition in Sudan through the Framework Political Agreement, the statement added.

It noted that both nations share "an unwavering" commitment to a negotiated two-state solution as the only path to a "lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and equal measures of security, prosperity, and dignity for Israelis and Palestinians."

The US said, based on Egypt’s transformational peace with Israel, it is partnering with Egypt to foster further regional cooperation including through the Negev Forum process, the state department added.

The US is engaged with Egypt, as well as Sudan and Ethiopia, to advance a swift diplomatic resolution on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) that safeguards the interests of the three parties, it added.

Economic Opportunity

The US and Egypt have a shared commitment to strengthening bilateral economic cooperation for the mutual benefit of the American and Egyptian people, including through expanding trade, increasing private sector investments and collaborating on clean energy and climate technology.  

The US has invested $600 million to digitise Egypt’s telecommunications sector, and Egypt has imported $5.9 billion from the US to construct, expand and modernise Egyptian infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing population.  

The US also commends Egypt for concluding an agreement with the International Monetary Fund in December, the statement added, saying that it is crucial to stabilising its economy and enabling vital reforms.  

In addition, the US and Egypt have committed to establishing a joint economic commission that will further enhance cooperation on all economic and commercial issues.

The statement also shed light on people-to-people ties, saying more than 20,000 Egyptians have participated in US government exchange programs, and 450 Egyptians travel to the US annually on professional and academic exchange programmes facilitated by US embassy Cairo.

The mission’s English language programming reaches thousands of students and teachers across Egypt, including at Al-Azhar University and affiliated institutions, it added.

The state department said the US and Egypt in November 2021 renewed a memorandum of understanding that strengthens protections for Egypt’s cultural patrimony and enables bilateral cooperation to disrupt the trafficking of archeological artifacts and cultural objects.

The steps come in line with both nations' partnership in preserving, restoring, and protecting Egypt’s cultural heritage, added the statement.

Climate cooperation

The US welcomes Egypt’s ongoing leadership through its presidency of the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), which Egypt hosted in November, to accelerate global ambition and action to tackle the climate crisis, the statement added.

The two countries support the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) and the new GMP Energy Pathway, which Egypt has joined with respect to the oil and gas sector.  

The US and Egypt co-lead the new partnership on Adaptation in Africa, which is focused on concrete initiatives to help build resilience in a changing climate.  

The US, the statement added, is providing $10 million to support the launch of the Cairo Centre for Learning and Excellence on Adaptation and Resilience, which will build adaptation capacity across Africa.  

At COP27, the US together with Germany announced more than $250 million to accelerate Egypt’s energy transition through the deployment of 10 GW of new wind and solar energy projects and the decommissioning of 5 GW of inefficient natural gas generation, according to the statement.

Defence partnership

The statement added that Egypt is a valued US partner in counterterrorism, anti-trafficking and regional security operations, which advance both US and Egyptian security.

The decades-long defense partnership, it noted, is a pillar for regional stability.

"Since 1978, the US has contributed more than $50 billion in military assistance, which has contributed to Egypt’s capabilities to protect and defend its land and maritime borders and to confront an evolving terrorist threat, including in the Sinai Peninsula," it further noted.

Both nations established diplomatic relations in 1922 and over the last century, this deep partnership has proven flexible to changing circumstances.

"Egypt seeks to build a stable and prosperous future that advances the basic rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens. The United States firmly believes critical partnerships like the US-Egypt relationship are stronger when there is a shared commitment to human rights," it added.

"We maintain an active dialogue that seeks to reinforce tangible steps to promote freedom of expression, end political detention and strengthen the rule of law, and undertake critical judicial reforms, including with respect to pre-trial detention reforms, in line with Egypt’s National Strategy for Human Rights."

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