Egypt, US defence leaders affirm commitment to advancing partnership: Pentagon

Ahram Online , Thursday 23 Mar 2017

Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis (Photo Courtesy of Al-Hurra Channel)

Egyptian Minister of Defence Sedki Sobhy and US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis agreed to continue working to strengthen US-Egyptian relations and achieve strategic objectives, the Pentagon spokesman said late on Wednesday.

In a telephone conversation, Mattis expressed "his commitment to advancing the US Egyptian defence partnership," spokesman Jeff Davis said in a statement on the website of the US Department of Defense.

"Minister Sobhy underscored the strength of the countries' history of military-to-military cooperation and provided an assessment of shared terrorism concerns," Davis added.

The two officials said they "will remain in close communication in the pursuit of US-Egyptian strategic objectives."

Cairo is one of Washington's closest Middle East allies. The US has been providing Egypt with military aid since the Arab country's 1979 peace deal with Israel.

Ties grew strained  under former US president Barack Obama who briefly suspended aid after the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

During a visit to Washignton earlier this month, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the continuation of US aid is crucial for Egypt in its fight against terrorism and efforts to maintain stability and peace in the region.

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