US Defence Minister, El-Sisi discuss Sinai: Pentagon

Ahram Online, Tuesday 15 Oct 2013

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and Egyptian Defence Minister Abdel Fattah El-Sisi discuss the relationship between their countries

Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
Egypt’s military chief Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi (Photo: AP)

United States Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel offered his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah El-Sisi warm wishes for the Eid Al-Adha holiday in a phone call Monday.

In a statement, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said the two defence ministers tackled a number of security issues.

"They discussed the importance of the US-Egyptian relationship to the national security of both countries and to the region," the statement read.

They also discussed the importance of security cooperation, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula.

The Egyptian border governorate of Sinai, overlooking Israel, has suffered a security void since the overthrow of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July.

Islamist militants have attacked army and police checkpoints on a daily basis, killing dozens of soldiers and policemen.

In response, the military has carried out a sustained crackdown on militants in Northern Sinai. According to the army, security forces have killed dozens of alleged "terrorists" and arrested at least 300 others since Morsi's ouster.

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