UK won't leave Egypt to stand alone against terrorism: Ambassador

Ahram Online , Sunday 20 Sep 2015

British embassy in Cairo releases statement following both nations' chiefs of defence staff meeting in the UK this wee

General Mahmoud Hegazy during his visit to the UK (Photo: Courtesy of UK Embassy in Cairo)

The UK has emphasised its commitment to working with Egypt in tackling the countries' "shared challenges", according to a statement by the British embassy in Egypt.

The statement came after a four-day visit to the UK by Egypt’s chief of defence staff, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy.

Hegazy and General Sir Nicholas Houghton, the UK’s chief of defence staff, centred their discussions on how the UK can support Egypt in effective counter-terrorism, and how to work together to secure a stable future for Libya.

Hegazy also met with defence secretary Michael Fallon, who said the UK is "committed to a supporting a more secure, prosperous and democratic Egypt".

Fallon represented the UK at the New Suez Canal project's inauguration ceremony on 6 August.

British ambassador to Egypt John Casson said that Hegazy’s visit "opens new horizons in the developing the partnership between Britain and Egypt".

He said that the partnership between both countries will not be limited to security measures but must to expand to "confront the long-term political, economic, and ideological challenges that lie behind the crisis in the region".

‘’Egypt and Britain are facing the same threat from ISIL terrorism and the extremism that feeds it. The UK will not leave Egypt to stand alone against it, in Sinai, Libya, or elsewhere,” Casson asserted.

During his visit to the UK, Hegazy visited Longmoor military training camp, where 15 Egyptian officers are currently receiving "close protection training" from the British army.

In August, Hegazy met with a British delegation in Cairo headed by national security advisor John Jenkins where officials discussed mutual interests including what they call the war on terrorism, and regional developments.

This year the British government has, according to media reports in August, increased its supply of arms to Egypt after reducing them following the 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) reported that UK government records show in the first quarter of 2015 London approved military licences to Egypt for "components of military combat vehicles" which suggests their sale. Their worth was £48.8 million ($75.8 mill), representing a year-on-year increase of 30 times, after the first quarter of 2014 yielded military deals between the nations worth just £1.6 million ($2.5 mill).   

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