The war on terrorism a main aspect of strategic Egypt-US relations: Sisi says in NY

Mahmoud Aziz , Thursday 26 Sep 2019

Sisi, Trump
President Donald Trump meets with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi at the InterContinental Barclay hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019 (Photo: AP)

Egypt President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi met on Wednesday with a delegation of US Evangelical leaders on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) during which he focused on Egypt’s commitment to supporting the principles of citizenship, equality and non-discrimination, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said.

El-Sisi stressed the importance of fostering strategic relationships between Egypt and the US to serve mutual security interests, asserting that the war on terrorism was one of the main aspects of the strategic Egypt-US relationship.

Speaking at a meeting in New York on Wednesday with a group of influential US figures, including former government and military officials and prominent experts from leading US think tanks and political research centres, El-Sisi asserted that Egypt was determined about adopting balanced policies and having serious interaction with the various decision-making circles in the US, Rady added.

At the meeting, El-Sisi welcomed "the participating US experts whose ideas and views have helped guide US policymakers in making decisions on diverse issues connected with the US national security and interests, most particularly its interests in the Middle East region," Rady said.

According to Rady, El-Sisi reiterated Egypt’s desire for stronger US support for its ambitious development plan aiming at comprehensive economic progress which can help it lure more US investments to its market and achieve economic cooperation between both countries, especially that Egypt can help US companies have a stronger foothold in the Middle East region and Africa.

Rady said the meeting witnessed an open dialogue during which the president answered a number of questions raised by members of the audience about conditions at home and across the region.

Answering a question about the fight against terrorism, the president highlighted the achievement Egypt had accomplished in its counter-terrorism efforts at the military, developmental and ideological levels, Rady said, adding that the president renewed his warning of the unprecedented security threats the Middle East region was facing due to the spread of terrorism and the burgeoning terrorist organisations sponsored by a number of regional countries that are incessantly providing them with money, weapons and safe havens.

According to the spokesperson, the president spoke about the long-running Palestinian-Israeli conflict which he described as one of the main causes of political instability in the region, pointing out that reaching a fair and comprehensive settlement for this chronic problem on the basis of international legitimacy resolutions and the two-state solution would allow for the return of stability to the countries of the region and enable them to realise development and improve the living conditions of their peoples, and contribute to drying up the sources of terrorism.

El-Sisi also urged collaborative efforts by the world community to support national institutions and seek inclusive political solutions to regional crises, Rady said. The Egyptian president reiterated Egypt’s interest in boosting its strategic relations with the US and consolidating bridges of communication and understanding with the whole spectrum of the US society to confront challenges facing the two countries.

Before his meeting with the US figures on Wednesday, El-Sisi met a delegation of US Evangelical leaders in his residence in New York.

El-Sisi asserted Egypt’s commitment to supporting the principles of citizenship, equality and non-discrimination in addition to strengthening the culture of pluralism and acceptance of the other through genuine and concrete practices.

According to the presidential spokesperson, the Evangelical leaders lauded Egypt's efforts to underpin the foundations of stability and moderation in the Middle East and voiced their solidarity for Egypt in its relentless battle against terrorism.

"They also applauded the Egyptian government for the great strides that Egypt has taken in its march towards development and the successful economic programme it is implementing," Rady added.

"El-Sisi expounded the arduous efforts Egypt is making to combat terrorism, saying that the Egyptian state was standing on the front lines of an all-out international war on terrorism and extremist thought, while at the very same time it was working hard to implement radical economic reforms to fulfil the aspirations of its people," Rady said.

"The Egyptian president also asserted that uprooting terrorism required collective work and the adoption of a global strategy that focuses on cutting off its sources of financing and ending political and ideological support to it as well as shoring up efforts to restore stability to the region through backing the national institutions in its countries and filling the (political and security) vacuum to prevent terrorism from having a fertile ground to grow,” he added.

El-Sisi arrived in New York on Friday to participate in the 74th session of the UNGA, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He met with his US counterpart Donald Trump on Tuesday. El-Sisi said his meeting with Trump reflected the significant understanding between the two countries, adding that it was his second meeting with the US president in two months.

Trump described El-Sisi as a "great leader" who had managed to restore stability in Egypt after chaos.

Delivering Egypt's speech at the UNGA on Tuesday, El-Sisi showcased Egypt's vision on a range of regional and international issues.

He stressed the necessity of ensuring that every nation could come up with solutions to its own problems, and that Egypt had been successful in this regard with its war against terrorism and its economic reforms, which are considered the most ambitious in Egypt's modern history.

The Egyptian president affirmed at his speech that the Nile water was "a matter of life and death" for Egypt, urging the international community to convince all parties to be flexible and resume negotiations.

El-Sisi said that although Egypt understood Ethiopia's situation regarding the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia had not conducted sufficient studies concerning that massive project.

The president also said that the Palestinian issue needed an urgent solution based on international resolutions because the continued existence of that dilemma meant a long-term drain on the Middle East region.

El-Sisi called for Sudan to be removed from the US list of states sponsoring terrorism after the recent change in the country's political situation.

He also called for putting an end to the conflict in Yemen by implementing political solutions, ending interference from non-Arab regional parties that seek to undermine Arab national security, and countering the unprecedented threats facing the Arab Gulf region, whether the threats of navigation or the attacks against petroleum institutions in Saudi Arabia.

El-Sisi met a number of world and regional leaders on the sidelines of the 74th UNGA.


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