Sisi, CIA director affirm strong Egypt-US strategic ties during Cairo talks

Ahram Online , Thursday 15 Jun 2017

Sisi-CIA director
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (R) meets CIA director Mike Pompeo (L) in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, June 15, 2017 (Photo: Ahram Arabic)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and CIA Director Mike Pompeo affirmed strong Egyptian-US strategic ties during talks in Cairo on Thursday, presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said in a statement.

El-Sisi stressed the strong security and military ties between Cairo and Washington, assuring that Cairo is keen to boost cooperation to face regional and international challenges, including terrorism.

Pompeo said Washington seeks to "bolster strategic ties" with Cairo, namely in security cooperation.

The talks, which were attended by Egyptian and US intelligence and security officials, also involved discussions of regional and international developments including counterterrorism efforts and the Qatar crisis.

Egypt and other Gulf countries severed diplomatic ties, transportation and trade links with Qatar earlier this month, accusing the tiny Gulf state of supporting terrorism.

Egypt and Washington have witnessed improved relations under the administration of US President Donald Trump, who has praised and vowed support for El-Sisi in a number of meetings and phone calls.

El-Sisi was the first world leader to congratulate Trump on his election victory.

Egypt has long been one of Washington's closest allies in the region, although relations have been strained since the Arab Spring in 2011.

The US has been providing Egypt with $1.3 billion in military aid yearly since Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. The military aid is accompanied by an annual economic assistance package, which amounted to $150 million in 2016.

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