Obama tells Sisi he hopes strategic dialogue will strengthen ties: Egyptian presidency

Ahram Online , Monday 3 Aug 2015

US Secretary of State Kerry met President El-Sisi on Sunday and passed on a letter from President Obama

Sisi - Kerry
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi's meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Cairo on August 2, 2015 (Photo: Al-Ahram)

US President Barack Obama told Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi that he hopes that the strategic dialogue between the two countries will deepen cooperation and contribute to Egypt's development, El-Sisi's office has said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in Cairo to co-chair the bilateral strategic dialogue, met with El-Sisi on Sunday, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement, and passed on the letter from Obama.

In the letter, the US president stressed the importance of strengthening relations between the two countries to face common challenges that threaten their interests, expressing the willingness of American companies to participate in pushing the development process taking place in Egypt.

During the meeting with El-Sisi, Kerry expressed his satisfaction with the results of the first round of the strategic dialogue, stressed his country's interest in the resumption of the dialogue to promote bilateral relations, and in consulting with Egypt on various regional issues.

Kerry also highlighted his country's support for Egyptian efforts to combat terrorism, both at the domestic level in Sinai and at the regional level, pointing to the US's readiness to cooperate with Egypt in this regard and provide any necessary support to confront terrorism and defeat it.

The top American official also praised the economic developments in Egypt, including the investment law, the decisions of the rationalisation of subsidies on energy and the completion of the “new Suez Canal” project during just one year.

He has expressed his country's readiness to cooperate with Egypt on the economic level aiming to achieve economic development.

During the meeting, El-Sisi said that his government will continue to work on development projects related to the Suez Canal, including the establishment of special economic zones in the east in Port Said and in the west in the Gulf of Suez.

The Egyptian president also told Kerry that his government intends to conduct parliamentary elections before the end of this year. 

Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012  when a court dissolved the lower chamber after ruling it was not constitutionally elected.

In July El-Sisi ratified amendments to several key electoral laws, in theory paving the way for elections to take place.

Egypt and the US have maintained a strategic political and military relationship since 1979, which marked the signing of the peace treaty with Israel. The US provides Cairo with $1.3 billion in military aid annually.

However, US-Egyptian relations became tense after the US maintained a critical position towards the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

In March, the Obama administration resumed full military aid to Egypt following a one year suspension of certain elements, in protest at the government's crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters following Morsi's ouster. 

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