Shoukry, Blinken commemorate centennial of Egypt-US diplomatic ties

Ahram Online , Wednesday 13 Apr 2022

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and US counterpart Antony Blinken discussed on Wednesday different aspects of Egypt-US strategic relations as well as a number of regional and international issues, commemorating the centennial of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Egyptian foreign ministry said.

Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry during his meeting with US counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson)

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1922, according to the Egyptian foreign ministry.

“There is a lot of history, but, I hope, a lot of good history we can actually make together in the months and years ahead,” Blinken told the media before the meeting with Shoukry in Washington DC.

During the meeting, Blinken presented a gift to Minister Shoukry: the copy of a letter from former US President Warren G. Harding to King of Egypt Ahmed Fouad I recognising Egypt’s independence and sovereignty and the start of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Blinken also gave Shoukry a letter from former US Secretary of State Charles Hughes to Egypt’s former Prime Minister Abdel-Khalek Tharwat Pasha congratulating him on Egypt’s independence.

During the meeting, Minister Shoukry asserted the importance of continued consultation and coordination between the two countries in different areas of bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest.

“The strategic partnership that exists now between Egypt and the United States over four decades has been mutually beneficial, and I believe there is much more work for both of us to do to further strengthen the relationship, and also to deal with the various challenges that I believe we can only meet through the continuing of our cooperation and our interaction,” Shoukry said before the meeting.

The meeting also dealt with human rights issues and the two countries’ perspectives on the matter, with Shoukry stressing the importance of dealing with human rights through a comprehensive perspective that considers the differences between societies.

The two officials also discussed the latest developments internationally and regionally and agreed to continue to work and coordinate to face the challenges in the region as well as to limit the negative impacts of current crises, whether regionally or internationally.

Shoukry's last visit to Washington was in November 2021, when he and Blinken kicked off the first round of the US-Egyptian Strategic Dialogue under the administration of US President Joe Biden.

This is the second day of the Egyptian FM’s visit to Washington, which kicked off on Tuesday with meetings with US officials, businessmen and think tank members, including Senior Adviser to the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate David Thorne.

Shoukry also had a meeting on Tuesday with representatives of American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Washington on means of boosting economic and trade ties between the two countries and the comprehensive development boom in Egypt. Given Egypt’s upcoming hosting of the 27th session of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27), scheduled to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh in November, the meeting tackled the US companies' efforts to achieve sustainable development in Egypt, particularly in the renewable energy sector.

The total two-way trade in goods between the United States and Egypt was $8.6 billion in 2019, according to the US Department of State.

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