UK foreign secretary offers Egypt assistance on Sinai security

Amer Sultan, London, Thursday 20 Sep 2012

William Hague tells UK foreign affairs committee that he discussed Sinai security with Egypt's President Morsi during last week's visit to Cairo

Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi (R) and Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr meet British Foreign Secretary William Hague (C) at the presidential palace in Cairo September 11, 2012.(Photo: Reuters)

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told the House of Commons' foreign affairs committee on Tuesday that he had discussed the security situation in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula – and offered Britain's help in this regard – with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and other Egyptian officials during a visit to Cairo last week.

"We stand ready to work with Egypt in any way that we can; to assist with – assist, that is, in the sense of our own expertise – in how to deal with such internal security issues," Hague told the 11-member committee.

Within recent months, the UK has voiced growing anxiety about the domestic security situation in Egypt.

Hague added that it was "very important" that Egypt deal with ongoing security concerns, especially in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

He went on to stress that the Egyptian government "appears determined to do so, and so I welcome the stance the [Egyptian] president has taken on this."

In response to a question on post-revolution Egypt's position on the Tel Aviv regime next door, Hague asserted that Morsi "has said that he stands by the peace treaty with Israel and, of course, we welcome that."

The UK foreign secretary added that Egypt's new leadership was currently preoccupied with internal issues.

"His [Morsi's] concentration is very much on building up Egypt's own future in peace, and that is absolutely the right priority."

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