Egypt keen to boost military cooperation with US: Defence minister to CENTCOM commander

Ahram Online , Sunday 11 Sep 2022

The Egyptian Armed Forces are keen to boost military and security cooperation with the United States, Minister of Defence and Military Production Mohamed Zaki said in a meeting in Egypt with Commander of US Central Command Michael Kurilla on Sunday.

Egypt s Minister of Defence and Military Production Mohamed Zaki receives US CENTCOM Commander Michael Kurilla in Egypt. Egyptian Armed Forces spox


Zaki hailed the extensive strategic relations between Egypt and the US, Egyptian military spokesman Gharib Abdel-Hafez said in a statement.

Zaki and Kurilla discussed “topics of mutual concern and issues that touch [their countries’] joint interests in light of the military cooperation between the two countries,” the spokesman said.

Kurilla hailed the pivotal role the Egyptian state plays in achieving security, stability, and balance in the region, stressing the deep bilateral relations between Egypt and the US, said the statement.

They also discussed supporting military cooperation between the two countries, the spokesman added.

Kurilla also met today with Chief-of-Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces Osama Askar, where they discussed boosting Egypt-US cooperation in training and exchanging expertise between the armed forces of the two countries.

Egypt and the US have had firm miliary cooperation in recent decades, including by conducting joint military drills, and have continued to coordinate on vital regional issues of mutual concern, especially the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In a phone call last month, Zaki and US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin III have reaffirmed their commitment to Egypt-US military-to-military cooperation as a cornerstone of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Austin thanked Egypt for its leadership role in the region and vital assistance in securing an August ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, which ended three days of renewed conflict that claimed the lives of 43 Palestinians, including children.

In May, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi received Kurilla in Cairo, where they discussed upgrading military and security cooperation, cooperation in counterterrorism, as well as joint military exercises and border security between the two countries.

The US has been the main arms exporter to Egypt between 2000 and 2019 at about 41.6 percent, followed by Russia at a share of about 25 percent, according to 2021 data by the German database company Statista.

In March, the then-CENTCOM Commander said the US will provide Egypt with F-15 aircrafts. Two months earlier, the US administration approved a massive $2.5 billion arms sale to Egypt, including 12 Super Hercules C-130 transport aircraft.

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