Field Marshal El-Sisi , minister of defense and Senator Tim Kaine (Photo: Armed official spokesperson's Facebook Page)
A five-member US congressional delegation arrived in Egypt on Wednesday to hold talks with top Egyptian government officials, days after discussions with another congressional team concluded in Cairo.
Led by US Senator Tim Kaine, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee, the delegation held talks with interim President Adly Mansour and foreign minister Nabil Fahmy on recent developments in the country and the region on Thursday as part of a three-day visit.
Mansour and Kaine discussed bilateral relations between Egypt and the United States, according to a statement released Thursday afternoon by Ambassador Ihab Badawy, spokesperson of the Egyptian presidency.
"President Mansour told Senator Kaine that Egypt was keen on relations with the United States and that to maintain these relations the United States should be keen as well," Badawy said.
"Egypt wanted the United States to understand what was happening in Egypt as we are fighting a real war against terrorism in Sinai and the rest of the country. It is important to find the friendly countries on Egypt's side," Badawy added.
Senator Kaine's official website announced on Thursday that he'd met with Egypt's defence minister, Field Marshal Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi, as well as civil society representatives, youth leaders and opposition leaders during his visit.
A separate Congressional delegation met with El-Sisi in Cairo on Tuesday as part of talks on US-Egypt ties and recent regional developments.
The visits come on the heels of recent talks held by El-Sisi and Russian officials last week in Moscow concerning an arms deal to replace suspended aid from key ally Washington
The US has cut back a chunk of some $1.5 billion of its assistance to Egypt since October amid alarm in the US administration about the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July and an ensuing crackdown on his supporters.
A state department spokeswoman has confirmed the aid remains on hold, as the US reviews the progress its key Middle East ally is making towards democracy. It has denied that warming ties between Moscow and Cairo will hurt Washington's "long-standing, strong, historical" relationship with Egypt.