Egypt defence minister holds talks with Emirati counterpart in Cairo

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 Sep 2014

Egyptian Defence Minister Sedky Sobhy and his Emirati counterpart talk regional issues and military ties in Cairo

Egyptian Minister of Defence Sedky Sobhy held talks on Monday with his Emirati counterpart, currently visiting Cairo along with an accompanying delegation, over regional issues affecting the two Arab allies.

The UAE supported Egypt's overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, in July 2013. The Gulf monarchy and oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, have together provided Egypt with more than $20 billion in grants, loans and petroleum products since Morsi's ouster.

Sobhy met with Defence Minister Hamad Thani Al-Rumaith to discuss "developments and rapid changes taking place in the Middle East," Egypt's official news agency MENA reported.

They also "exchanged views on challenges and risks the region is witnessing and how they are affecting regional security and stability." 

Growing militia violence in Libya and the fear of a spillover into neighbouting countries, as well as the rising threat from the Islamic State, a jihadist group which has seized large swathes of Syria and Iraq, has raised alarm bells in the region.

The Emirati minister also tackled military cooperation with Cairo in bilateral talks held on the day with Egyptian army chief of staff Mahmoud Hegazy, MENA added

Relations between Qatar and the Gulf countries of UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have soured over Doha's support of the Muslim Brotherhood—an Islamist movement they have branded a terrorist organisation and which they accuse of destabilising their close ally Egypt.

Ties with Doha plumbed to a low in March when the three Gulf states withdrew their envoys.

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